ST: Shaping a Cardassian - "Strength Without Sacrifice is Useless"

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Gul Re'jal, Jan 2, 2011.

  1. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 4, 2008
    Cardăsa Terăm--Nerys Ghemor
    Yeah...oops! ;)

    Indeed...I know I was relieved!

    What I was also thinking is, did the fact that Ronus was almost 300 years old help to give him some additional standing in Jarol's eyes? After all, she's talking to an "old man" even though he has a middle-aged body, and I imagine that Federation or not, a little bit of respect comes with that kind of age.

    And I can say for Demok--NOT going to happen! I imagine he'd order cooked ones and have the replicator add vitamins. ;)

    I figured. But I bet she didn't expect the "shit my pants" response--that he'd actually say that out loud! And what's worse--humor is the most powerful weapon against a personality like that!!! (I do like, however, that his is not the derisive humor Jadzia had sometimes. Will NOT make a comment about "self-defecating" humor... :evil: )

    Yay! :)
  2. Gul Re'jal

    Gul Re'jal Commodore Commodore

    Jun 28, 2010
    Gul Re'jal is suspecting she's on the wrong space
    Could be. She might instinctively respect that age and knowledge and experience, especially since it includes "Cardassian experience."
    People usually don't admit to their fears that openly in front of her. I think she was amused, but not mean-amused, really amused. He made her laugh.

    I am sure his dinners were complete opposite mine when I was a kid. I did ALL I could not to eat meat, especially jelly-like disgusting grease shaking on pieces of meat, bleh. All veggies were always cleaned off my plates. Mr. Laran Demok cleans all meat and leaves all greens. Or hides it and throws away when Jarol doesn't look. I can imagine all those dried/spoiled peas/lettuce/carrots under his bed he was hiding there and forgetting about them and she was finding when cleaning... :eek::lol::guffaw:
  3. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 4, 2008
    Cardăsa Terăm--Nerys Ghemor
    Exactly. He's not talking out of know what. ;)

    When I was little, I loved meat. But I couldn't even eat most vegetables. I remember an episode when my mom told me I COULD NOT leave until I finished my peas. I chewed on the same nasty, disgusting mouthful for HALF AN HOUR and could not make myself swallow. It was SO nasty. (That incident scarred me. I won't eat plain peas...only in a stew. Or the Chinese kind that are still inside the pod when you eat them. I don't mind the pea-pod taste...just the PEA taste.)

    There was also a rule that if I "subtracted" a vegetable from what I would eat, I had to add another one back.

    I now eat more, but NOT raw, and NOT in a salad. Only cooked. So I TOTALLY understand Demok; he's my kind of guy! :lol:
  4. Gul Re'jal

    Gul Re'jal Commodore Commodore

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

    Archon Colissa stepped over a threshold, expecting to be met by Gul Jarol and Glinn Borad. She had studied the station’s crew roster and had familiarised herself with the personnel. However, to her discontent, the people that came to meet her were not Gul Jarol and her aide. Well, the aide was there but he was accompanied by a tall man in a golden armour. Some kind of an important guard. A guard was a guard, no matter what colour his armour was.

    “Where is Gul Jarol?” Colissa asked Borad before he had a chance to say a word.

    “The legate is occupied. She’d like to--”

    “Legate? Why do you call her ‘legate’? This is not her actual rank, is it?”

    Borad stared at the archon for a moment and did not reply. Rude, Colissa thought. Her eyes went to the guard.

    “Who are you?” she asked sharply.

    “I am Garesh Dalar, Madame Archon. I am responsible for the station’s security, therefore we will co-operate closely.”

    She didn’t hide her disdain. To co-operate closely with a low ranking soldier?

    “Where is Jarol, I have to talk to her imme--” she did not finish as she heard fast steps approaching. She shot a glance to the left, where the noise was coming from, and saw a young man running toward them. He abruptly stopped when he realised she was looking at him; then he resumed but walked instead of running. “Sub-Archon Demok,” she recognised him. “I assume you are late,” she stated.

    “I am sorry, Madame Archon, I--”

    “I am not interested in your excuses, boy. Now,” she looked back at Borad. “Take me to Jarol.”

    “Yes, ma’am,” the glinn bowed lower than it was required and led the way.

    Jarol was in the middle of her conversation with Legate Ekoor when an elder woman stormed into her office. Borad, Dalar and her son were just behind her. She looked up surprised and then her eyes returned to the legate. “I’m sorry, sir, I have been interrupted. Could you please repeat that?” she asked politely.

    Ekoor opened his mouth to speak but the elder woman in Jarol’s office was faster.

    “I will not be treated this way!” she boomed.

    Jarol sent her a tired look; it didn’t escape her attention that Ekoor’s face showed some amusement. “Lady, I am currently talking to Legate Ekoor, so whatever you have to tell me, he has the priority. You have to wait.”
    “I will not!”

    Ekoor on the screen bit his lower lip, trying not to laugh loudly, while Jarol’s patience was being tested. “You will wait until I finish my conversation with the head of the Cardassian Union. Is that clear?”

    “Don’t use that tone of voice with me, Jarol!”

    The legate squinted her eyes madly at the newcomer. She couldn’t be sure but something was telling her that she was the archon that was supposed to arrive that day. Demok’s presence in the room would confirm that guess.

    Legate Jarol?” Ekoor spoke from the screen. “Just send me that report. I can see your hands are full right now.”

    “Yes, sir,” she nodded and he signed off. She looked at the other woman.

    “Now, Jarol, I have a few comments regarding the way you’re running this place,” the archon attacked. Jarol barely managed to stop her grin from forming—what could she know about the station if she’d arrived just a moment ago? “You did not come to meet me. That’s one. You sent a non-con. That’s two. You forced me to accept that young man here, because he’s your child. I prefer to choose skilled people to train, not ones with privileges. That’s three. He is even unable to be punctual! Four!” Demok lowered his head and sent an apologetic look to his mother who fumed at the insults toward her son and her soldier. “Now, Jarol, what--”

    “It’s Legate Jarol,” the commander interrupted.

    Gul Jarol, if I’m not mistaken,” the other women retorted. Jarol growled; she didn’t mind being called ‘gul’ again, but not in this manner! “Now, Gul Jarol, what do you have to say for your excuse?”

    “I don’t have to excuse myself,” she said in a levelled and calmed tone that only those who knew her very well would recognise as a well-trained control of her growing anger. “Garesh Dalar, please escort the archon to her new quarters. Use force, if necessary,” she added looking the woman in the eye.

    “This way,” Dalar moved aside and gestured with his hand inviting the newcomer to go first. The archon seemed to hesitate for a moment and than reluctantly motioned toward the door.

    “You would do it, wouldn’t you?” she threw to Jarol before leaving. “Use force.”

    Demok stayed behind long enough not to be heard. “Mo-o-o-o-m,” he moaned, sending the legate a painful look.

    Some bitch, Jarol thought, not saying it out loud. She only smiled to her boy and he followed the group to see the archon off to her quarters.

    “This is going to be fun,” Jarol muttered to herself sitting down and activating the screen with her report for Ekoor. Those smiles he tried to hide... Did he know? Or was the situation itself ridiculous enough to amuse him?

    Dalar was a man of patience. Or indifference. He had to deal with different types of people during his career and he could always control himself. He thought that there was no person, no situation that could drive him crazy.

    Until now.

    The archon treated him like a piece of trash. And she didn’t hide her disdain. However, that was not all. She treated Legate Jarol the same way and in Dalar’s eyes it was a sin worth execution. All the way to her quarters she was throwing orders at young Demok, calling him ‘boy’, or ‘child’ and showing him absolutely no respect that every Cardassian deserved, especially this young and talented man. She treated Borad like her personal servant and complained about décor of her new home. She demanded to call some specialist to change everything and adapt to her tastes. When she finally dismissed them, they stood in the corridor in front of her quarters, looking at each other uncertainly, grateful it was over...for now.

    Borad patted Demok’s shoulder and went back to the command.

    “Dalar, shoot me, please,” the young Cardassian said quietly.

    “I’d rather shoot her,” the garesh whispered.

    They headed for the nearest lift.

    “Who makes decisions about archons’ assignments?” Dalar asked.

    “The High Archon Council,” Demok answered. “There is no way to influence them.”

    “Find a Ferengi and bribe them.”

    Demok smiled. “You of course realise that discovery of that act would ruin my career and most likely sent me to prison.”

    “The art of bribery is not to be caught.”

    “Did you ever bribe anyone?”

    “No, I didn’t have to,” Dalar answered.

    Demok seemed to understand the reply. Garesh Dalar was a veteran of three wars and one his look was enough to make people do things. He had trained hundreds, if not thousands, of militiamen and led them to battle. For last twenty years the garesh had been Jarol’s personal bodyguard and he knew she trusted him fully. So did her son. He was not afraid of anything or anyone. He might not be an officer but it didn’t mean he was a fool. Now, serving as the chief tactician of the station, his position put him on the same level as many officers but so far no one objected or treated him as something worse. His aide, Garesh Aladar, was treated with the same respect.

    Until now. Until this archon arrived to the station and treated Legate Jarol herself as a doormat. Who was that woman or rather—who did she think she was!

    “I got to go,” Demok said. “I have lots and lots of work to do,” he added sighing.

    Dalar acknowledged by nodding and observed the young man walking away. He knew Demok spent most of his life under his mother’s protection but now he was just about to face the first hard lesson in his life—dealing with someone who was not afraid of his mother and who seemed to be an enemy of his mother’s. Dalar could only hope that the archon wouldn’t take her hatred on Demok.

    He slowly walked toward a lift with the intention to return to the tactical. Aladar spent whole morning testing different systems and Dalar wanted to see the final report. Without the station being fully prepared for a sudden attack he felt almost naked.

    Demok was terrified. He ran through all orders he had been given by the archon—yes, they were orders, not requests—and he hoped he didn’t forget about anything. Thanks, mom, he thought to himself. Oh, how he hated all those memory training sessions and how he tried to avoid them: pretending to be sick, pretending he forgot and hoping she wouldn’t remind him—that one was not very smart as she only had one more argument how much he needed those sessions but you can’t blame him, he was only eight years old then—even running away from one—not advisable with a mother like that... Now, however, he appreciated all those sessions. The archon hadn’t cared if he had any padd with him, she just had been barking hundreds of tasks she wanted him to do and all he had was his memory to commit them to.

    Thanks, mom.

    He took a padd and, to be on the safe side, wrote everything down. Just in case. In case he’d forget because of being traumatised by this monster.

    How about hiring someone to kill her? No, he didn’t have enough money...How about killing her himself? No, he didn’t have enough skill. Darn, he should have gone to the academy; he not only could kill her, he wouldn’t have to kill her because she wouldn’t be his boss! His mom would be.

    Who knows what’s worse?

    He smiled to himself. He knew his mother was a tough soldier and commander but he also knew she was fair and never mistreated her subordinates. With all personnel shift in the military, there were people that have been stuck with her and followed her for years.

    He wished Archon Colissa would belong to people who never mistreated anyone. She represented law and she should follow it but he never heard of any rule that would forbid to bark at subordinates. Even guls and legates didn’t bark as barkishy as this woman.

    Why did it have to be her? Owwww, someone wanted to get rid of her from Cardassia and transferred her here, to the station. Someone there is happy making everyone here miserable. Making him miserable.

    The archon clearly specified in which order he should complete given tasks, so he had no problem with starting. First—assess everyone’s history and possible past troubles with law. Starting from his own mother.
    He rolled his eyes. Whatever she had done in her life, she never broke the law, never.

    He got work. That part of his job he liked—putting everything in order. There were clear rules how to prepare such reports and his clearance, as a sub-archon, allowed him to peep into files normally unavailable for a Cardassian civilian.

    His mother’s file was long. Her career was colourful, with its ups and downs. And then he found two strange things. Two files. One was sealed. Not just sealed as any other file. It was a seal of a paranoid-type of seals. All he could tell was that the file existed and most likely was created in 2378 but that was all. Oh, and it was sealed three years later. By Gul Dukat. Curious. Reeaaallly curious. What was there? Why was it sealed? Why was it sealed by him? And the date. That file was created a day after Jarol family died. One day. The next day. She probably didn’t stop crying yet when someone—when he—created the file and wrote something in it. What?

    The other file was empty. It had been created in 2371 by some glinn whose name didn’t ring a bell. The file was empty. It used to be sealed too but had been unsealed a few years back. It was just empty. Demok checked the list of last users, wondering if it would be sealed but it wasn’t. The file had been opened five years ago by Legate Ekoor. That was the last position on the users list. Just before that one there was a report of deletion of whole content performed by Legate Damar.

    “Oh, mom,” the Cardassian whispered.

    It seemed that his mother had a lot of secrets. Would she tell him if he asked? Would she be angry if he asked?

    He closed the empty file and continued his search through her lifetime only to find a file that had been flagged as critical information. To his surprise he had no problems with accessing it—a sub-archon’s privileges were quite high, it would seem—and started to read, not believing his own eyes.

    “Oh, mom,” he whispered again.

    He had heard about Legate Ahal and his assassination but he never knew his mother had been the prime suspect! She had served under him, he knew that. She hated him because it was an evil man, he knew that too. But did she kill him? Would she?

    Wait, you’re talking about your mother. Of course she would. If she could justify it, she would.

    But did she? Did she do it?

    The file said she had a motive but nothing that could be proved. Ahal had been giving a speech and she was among the audience when he was shot. Even if she was involved, she didn’t do it herself. That’s good or bad?

    How was he supposed to deliver that report to the archon?

    “Demok to Jarol,” he pressed his wristcomm.

    What is it?” her voice asked.

    “Mom, I need to talk to you. It’s urgent.”

    How urgent?

    “Urgent urgent.”

    Come to my office, then.”

    He was there in no time, with the padd that contained all the information he had gathered.

    “What’s going on?” she asked him, pulling him to a sofa in a corner of her office.

    “That archon, she told me to prepare full report on everyone on the station.”

    “A standard procedure.”

    “Yes, I know. But...”

    “But?” she encouraged him to continue.

    “Mom, your file. I...”

    “Just ask.”

    “Why is one file sealed?”

    Her eyes darkened and he thought it was anger.

    “After Father Joret, Mayel and Corat died, my gul entered a two year reprimand into my file. A few years later he sealed that file not to let anyone access it again and remind of that reprimand. He believed he was wrong punishing me for that event.” It was not anger, it was pain. “That’s why it’s sealed. That tragedy shouldn’t negatively influence my career.”

    “Why didn’t he just delete it?”

    “You cannot delete some files. It’s a hardware precaution.”

    “Why didn’t he delete the content, then? Which brings me to my next question. Damar had deleted the content of another file. Why? What was there?”

    “It was a full report of my insubordination, related to Gul Ahal.”

    “Insub...” Demok’s eyes opened wide. His mother was insubordinate??

    “Ahal gave an order which I refused to follow. Publicly. And I told him what I thought about that wrong order.”

    “About killing Cardassian civilians,” he recalled her telling him about it.

    “That’s right.”

    “Why was it deleted?”

    “Because insubordination is insubordination, even if you’re right. I think Damar wanted to make sure it wouldn’t stain my history.”

    “All right,” he nodded.

    “There’s more,” she guessed, as he didn’t move and seemed to hesitate.



    “Mom, you were the prime suspect in the Ahal assassination investigation. They say they couldn’t prove it but you had a motive.” She didn’t seem surprised. “Did you kill him?”

    His direct and sudden question startled her. He knew she wouldn’t lie to him, she never did.

    “Are you asking as a sub-archon, or as a son?”

    “As a son, mom. I can’t include in my report anything that is not proven and our conversation is not proof.”

    “I did not kill him. But it has been done on my order.”

    Demok didn’t say anything. He stared at her, not sure what to think about it. Was Ahal that evil? Was his mother evil? Did Uncle Arenn know about it?

    “Why no one found any proof?”

    “Because all proof has been destroyed.”

    “You weren’t alone in this.”

    “It was my decision but I had friends who covered for me.”

    “Uncle Arenn?”

    “He didn’t know anything about it.”


    She didn’t say anything and it was clear to him she would not answer that question.

    “Do you regret?”


    The answer, so immediate and certain, startled him.

    “Why didn’t you tell me?”

    “How? When? What for?”

    She kept looking at him, worry in her eyes. Did she fear he would include it in his report? “I won’t write it,” he assured her. “This is between you and me.”

    The worry, however, did not disappear.

    She didn’t care about the report, she cared what he thought of her now!

    “Mom, why were you in trouble if Ahal’s orders were so wrong? Why wasn’t he in trouble for attempting to murder thousands of Cardassian civilians?”

    “Because there is no way to bring guls to justice. They are considered infallible and their troops have to trust them and follow their orders. There was no law to deal with him.”

    “There should be such law,” he said.

    “The military is independent if it comes to its internal matters.”

    “Maybe there should be a special department to deal with soldiers and guls that break law.”

    “The Central Command does it.”

    “Not very effectively, as I can see.”

    She gave him an attentive look but didn’t say anything. They gazed at each other for a long while.

    “I need to finish this report and get to other officers,” he said eventually. “I’ll be very busy these days.”

    “Good, some real work will do you good,” she said cheerfully but he knew her well enough to recognise the tone of her voice was forced.

    “Love you, mom.” He kissed her in the cheek and left her office.
  5. Gul Re'jal

    Gul Re'jal Commodore Commodore

    Jun 28, 2010
    Gul Re'jal is suspecting she's on the wrong space
    She observed him leaving. She didn’t know if he would have to include anything that she had just told him in his report but at that very moment she didn’t care. She could go to prison in disgrace, she could take all the blame, she could accept the responsibility, she could get through a public tribunal that her political enemies would, not doubt, enjoy. There was one thing, though, that she could not take.

    Losing respect of her son.

    Young Sub-Archon Demok walked a corridor and his thoughts were occupied by one thing: why the military doesn’t have any internal ways of controlling idiots in command? It was Uncle Arenn’s job to keep everything under control but he couldn’t be everywhere looking at everyone’s hands. He was just one against hundreds—thousands? How many guls where there, anyway?—of ships commanders. He couldn’t investigate everyone. True, Demok knew that Brenok could order an investigation but it would be one gul against another. And what if there were some personal hostilities between those two? Or bribery? Or any other reason? Wouldn’t a special department, special legal troop solve that problem? Its existence alone would make guls think twice before issuing some tough orders. Someone should think about it, someone should try to create such a system.

    Archon Colissa entered her office on one of lower levels of the pole to see that Demok was already there. She did not expect that. She did not expect much of him, anyway. If he needed his mother to find him a good place for his apprenticeship, then he was a poor student and a poor student couldn’t make a good archon. And his mother clearly wasn’t much better. The woman struck the archon as a conformist. She had used her influence to appoint her son to Colissa only to keep him under control—the boy seemed terrified of his mother. She had used her influence to get the command of this station. She was dangerous and had to be controlled. Colissa would have to keep an eye on her. A close eye!

    “Madam Archon, the reports on whole senior staff are ready,” Demok reported dutifully, standing up.

    “Already?” A bit of admiration crept into her voice, in spite of her effort to hide it.

    “Yes, ma’am,” he confirmed crisply.

    A military woman’s son, obviously.

    “Proceed with the others,” she said.

    “I am,” he sat and resumed his work.

    Let’s see what we have there, she went to her desk and at once activated the report related to Gul Jarol. Some sealed, secret files, extensive military record, possible involvement in the assassination of that moron Ahal. Her son didn’t seem to hide anything, the work appeared to be done properly. Everything with attached copies of proofs.

    She had to admit the report was prepared perfectly. She glanced at the sub-archon and observed him for a moment; he appeared fully concentrated on his work.

    Jarol tried to concentrate on her work but couldn’t. Her thoughts were still occupied by the conversation she had had with her son a few hours ago. She kept reading Garesh Dalar’s report over and over, her eyes skimming through the texts and her brain not registering the meaning of words.

    Suddenly, something happened that her brain registered immediately. She left the opened file on her monitor, knowing it would lock access after a minute of no activity, and went to the command. When the door opened, the noise of red alert klaxon and the flashing red light attacked her senses.

    “Report!” she barked hoping her voice was heard in the noise.

    “We’ve got a Hideki class patrol ship on our sensors,” Borad reported from the pit looking up at her. “It is flagged as ‘quarantined’.”

    So, the red alert was triggered automatically by the system.

    “Shut down this noise,” she shouted. “Hail them.”

    Borad manipulated the console and the klaxon went silent but the red lights were still on. “We can’t, they’re still out of range.”

    She looked at him trying not to show her surprise. Some sensors they had if they detected the ship but were too far to talk to them.

    “Subspace communication?”


    “Ours or theirs?” she asked and noticed that Zamarran gave her a hurt look.

    “Theirs,” was Borad’s reply.

    “When will they be in the communication range?” she demanded.

    “In sixteen minutes.”

    “Keep scanning. I want to know why they are flagged as under quarantine. And where they came from.”
    It seemed that quiet days aboard Rayak Nor just came to an end.

    in the next episode
  6. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 4, 2008
    Cardăsa Terăm--Nerys Ghemor
    OK, I'm going to be completely mean...but I wanted ringside seats to that fight! Finally, Jarol's met a bitch of equal or even greater magnitude, in Colissa!!! :evil:

    I've even got a tagline for the trailer of this wonderful movie: "Payback's a bitch. Literally." :evil:

    I enjoyed the exchange between Demok and Dalar...hilarious!

    As for killing Ahal...I'm kind of glad Demok found out because that will warn him of the kind of person he doesn't want to be--or anyone else to be. It even seems like preventing such situations is now his mission in life.

    As for Jarol...sorry to sound even meaner here, but a little remorse isn't a bad thing.

    And...mystery ship? Oh, more mystery ships! My poor little heart! [​IMG]
  7. Gul Re'jal

    Gul Re'jal Commodore Commodore

    Jun 28, 2010
    Gul Re'jal is suspecting she's on the wrong space
    No worries, the ship is a mystery only for the cliffhanger purpose ;)

    And Colissa... Well, Jarol met her mirror self (don't tell her I said that, I want to live!) and there's no way she could get rid of the archon. And Demok? His conversation with his mother was tough for them both, but it was necessary. It was an inception. I don't know if you remember what my plans for his future are but this was the moment when the idea was born. He's not yet fully aware of it, but it will grow and some day he would know what to do.
  8. Gul Re'jal

    Gul Re'jal Commodore Commodore

    Jun 28, 2010
    Gul Re'jal is suspecting she's on the wrong space
    Episode 2
    Chapter 1

    CUW Radalar
    Day 1

    Gul Toral, in a bad mood, stood in the middle of his bridge with his hands clasped behind him. He impatiently waited for his tactical officer to deliver information but the tactician, Glinn Lorrun, was silent. Toral did his best to be patient and not stare at the officer with a reprimand written all over his face, but it was proving more difficult with every minute that passed.

    “Lorrun,” he said finally.

    The glinn shot him a nervous glance and then his eyes returned to his screen. “I’m sorry, sir, but—”

    “I am not interested in your being sorry. I want my answers!”

    “Yes, sir.”

    “Sir,” Gil Yamuc spoke from the communication station. “We are being hailed by Rayak Nor.”

    “On screen.”

    Legate Jarol’s lovely face appeared on the viewer.

    “Gul Toral, I am sure you have detected the Hideki patrol ship that is headed here,” she said and he confirmed by nodding. “They are under some kind of quarantine but we can’t hail them. I want you to intercept them. Talk to them. Remember not to beam anyone aboard. We can’t be sure if the quarantine is the real thing but we can’t take any chances.”

    “Yes, Legate,” he said crisply. And he didn’t care she didn’t outrank him and could not issue him any orders—in fact, he outranked her as, in spite of them both being guls grade four, his position placed him higher in the command structure. And anyway, what she wanted him to do was the right thing to do.

    She signed off and he looked at the helm officer.

    “Glinn Tassar, enter course to intercept.”

    “Yes, Gul.”

    “Korel,” Toral looked at his aide. “I’m sure he already knows but inform Gul Brenok of our movement.”

    The glinn nodded his acknowledgement.

    Toral went to his chair and sat. “Out ETA?” he asked Tassar.

    “Seven minutes.”

    “Tactical, keep scanning them,” the gul threw toward Lorrun who sat on his chair with lowered head and seemed to be half smaller than usually.

    “Yes, Gul,” came a loud and clear reply.

    Toral waited. Seven minutes of waiting. Seven very long minutes of waiting.

    “Sir, we’re in range,” Yamuc said.

    “Hail them,” the gul leaned forward in his chair, leaning the left elbow on his thigh and grasping the armrest with the right hand.

    The main viewer flickered and a human’s face appeared on it; the first word that came to Toral’s mind was ‘ragged’. This man’s face was ragged.

    “I am Gul Toral of Cardassian Union Warship Radalar,” he introduced himself. “Who are you and what are you doing aboard a Cardassian property?”

    My name is Pierre Tibaut and I am from the colony Mazita,” the man replied in broken Cardassian.

    Toral searched his memory. Mazita—one of former Federation colonies, now within the borders of the Union. So, he at least knew the man wasn’t a thief.

    “Are you unwell?” the gul asked, knowing very well how ridiculously his question had to sound. It was obvious even to a non-medic that the man was everything but well.

    Our was struck by some kind of virus. We cannot find any solution. We need help. Our children need help.”

    “I see,” Toral stood up and made a step toward the screen. “Let’s start from the beginning. When did it happen and how serious the disease is?” He turned to Korel. “Get Medic Jabat here, now.” Korel nodded and pressed his wristcomm. Toral looked back at the human.

    We don’t know where the virus came from but we suspect it was artificially created. First cases were noted three months ago but weren’t fatal. However, the virus mutated. Death rate is one hundred percent.”

    “I take it you are sick too.”

    I am. I know you might not trust me because I’m not a Cardassian, but I’m afraid my companion, a Cardassian, has died three hours ago.”

    It didn’t even occur to Toral to think of the man in a Cardassian/non-Cardassian aspect. “You said something about children,” he said.

    Yes. The virus seems to be unable to replicate in young organisms. We are not yet sure why but we are sure that the virus will mutate to finally be able to attack also our children. We need your help. It’s too late for us but save them!

    “Gul Toral, if I may?” Medic Jabat’s voice spoke next to Toral. He must have arrived in the meantime. The gul nodded his consent, so the medic looked at the screen. “Are the children carriers?”


    “Most unusual. How can you be sure?”

    We found no proof of virus presence in their organisms.”

    “How good is your equipment?” Tibaut didn’t respond to that. “So, if it’s not top-of-the-art, you cannot be completely sure they are free of the virus.”

    You can make sure before taking them off the planet.”

    “We can’t leave them like this,” Jabat looked at Toral.

    “I don’t intend to,” the gul agreed.

    There is one thing...” The man on the screen glanced at them with something that looked like an apology. “The prefect made it clear that this mission must be led by a civilian representative, not military.”

    “Oh, perfect. They ask for help and issue demands,” Toral growled quietly. Then he spoke louder for the human to hear him, “I will discuss it with my superiors and then inform you of our decision. Stand by.” He was just about to sign off when he added. “And don’t get nearer to the station.”

    Don’t make it too long. I might join my companion.”


    The man disappeared from the screen. “Is there anything we can do for him now?” Toral asked the medic.

    Jabat shook his head. “Not really, not until I know more about it.”

    “Do we have any useful scans?” the gul looked at Lorrun.

    “Yes, Gul. Once I recalibrated our sensors to add our medical database to results, I gathered some useful data.”

    “Medic,” Toral said but unnecessarily, as Jabat was already headed for the tactician’s console to study the information. The gul looked at Yamuc. “Get me Brenok, now.”

    “Yes, Gul.”

    Toral returned to his seat. “Korel, keep an eye on the Hideki. Jam transporters. He seems to care only about children but desperate men do desperate things. Also, get me all you can find on that colony, especially most recent reports and data. Did they get any visitors? Any natural disasters? Who’s their prefect and for how long? And his species. Something tells me he’s not a Cardassian.”

    Korel acknowledged all orders with either a nod or a purr, or both. ‘Purring’ was not exactly a confirmation that regulations would approve of but Toral knew that once he started barking a list of orders, it was easier for Korel to confirm them that way then interrupt his gul and cause Toral disrupt his string of thought. That would be much worse than purring on duty.

    Tassar knew that too, because he waited for Toral to finish before announcing the obvious: “Sir, Gul Brenok on the screen.”

    CUW Damar
    Day 1

    Gul Brenok listened to Gul Toral issuing orders with amusement. Toral had been Legate Jotrel’s aide—when Jotrel had still been a gul—for years and while Brenok didn’t know Jotrel that well, he could clearly see that Toral adopted a lot from Jotrel’s style of command. He wondered if his own style reminded Jarol’s.

    Finally, Toral’s attention shifted to his superior.

    Gul Brenok, we have a possibly dangerous situation here,” he started and then relayed all information he had on the subject.

    Brenok listened without interrupting, then asked, “What do we know about the prefect?” From experience he knew how important such data was—a prefect and his or her approach was critical in making decisions and finding solutions.

    Toral turned to his aide who went forward. “Their prefect had been chosen seven months ago. He is a human, his name is Gerard Krause and he is a supporter of a movement that wants the colony to return to the Federation.”

    “I didn’t know there was such a movement,” Brenok commented.

    Apparently it all arose when the treaty negotiations with the Federation started,” Korel said.

    That would mean the movement existed for three years already. “Do they have any supporters?” Brenok asked.

    Korel seemed uncomfortable. “I did not check that information,” he said a bit quieter than his earlier report. Toral shot a look at his aide but didn’t say anything. Brenok thought that with Toral’s narrow eyes it always looked like he squinted at people but couldn’t tell if this time Toral was really unsatisfied with his aide’s performance or it was only an impression caused by his features.

    Brenok shook his head. “Never mind, it is not that important now. That explains, however, why they demanded a civilian presence. They distrust us, the Guard.”

    It would appear so,” Toral agreed. “The problem is we do not have any civilians in this sector and would have to call for someone from Cardassia or another colony.

    “That is not entirely true,” Brenok said slowly, thinking. “We have a few civilians on Rayak Nor. But before we send anyone to that planet, we need to know more about this disease. Much more. I don’t intend to send any representative to a certain death and it sounds like the case.”

    Agreed,” Toral nodded.

    “Tell that human in the Hideki to stand by. I’ll send a civilian representative and two more medics soon.” Brenok was just about to cut the connection when he hesitated. “And Toral...” The other gul looked at him. “You will take orders from that civilian. If there’s something very wrong, let me know and I’ll deal with it, but the civilian is in charge. For real. Not for a show.”

    Understood, Gul.

    Toral’s face on the screen was replaced by a view of stars. Now was the tough part. “You have the bridge,” Brenok told Glinn Karama and headed for the transporter chamber. He beamed to the station and immediately went to the archon’s office.
  9. Gul Re'jal

    Gul Re'jal Commodore Commodore

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

    Rayak Nor
    Day 1

    “Gul Brenok,” Colissa greeted him coldly when he entered the office. “What brings you here?”

    Brenok noticed that the office was fully staffed; that included Colissa, Demok and three other legal clerks whose names he did not know.

    “We have a situation on one of colonies and their prefect has requested a civilian to lead the rescue mission.”

    “If you think I will roam around the sector aboard some stinky warship, then you are very wrong, young man. Gul.” She corrected herself quickly. “Travelling here was enough.”

    Brenok ignored her blunder. “Actually I was thinking about someone else,” his eyes went to the young sub-archon.

    “Him? He’s merely a child!”

    Brenok ignored her again. Demok was twenty-four; Brenok at this age was already an engineer aboard the Groumall with all responsibilities of an adult. The gul believed Demok was ready for a real job and intended to give him a chance to prove it. He also thought that a Cardassian of post-war generation would make a less negative impression on the hostile prefect from the colony in trouble.

    “Sub-Archon Demok,” Brenok looked at the Cardassian, his face expression all business-like. “I would like you to take the leadership for this assignment.” He could not order him, Demok was not a soldier, all he could do was to ask politely and accept refusal.

    “Madam Archon?” Demok looked at his boss. So did Brenok.

    She seemed to consider it for a moment—a moment too long for Brenok’s taste—and then nodded once, sharply. “All right. I can grant you a leave but only for one week. Your mission completed or not, you are back here in ten days.”

    “Yes, Madam Archon,” Demok said, raising from his chair. “Thank you, Madam Archon.”

    “Don’t break any laws,” she said menacingly and then turned away. It was clear that for her the matter was closed.

    Brenok and Demok left the office.

    “I give you twenty minutes to pack some necessities and then beam to the Damar. I’ll give you a Hideki and two medics.”


    “I’ll fill you in when you’re aboard the Damar.”

    “I’ll be there in fifteen.”

    “Just don’t forget your toothbrush.”


    Brenok smiled. “It’s Gul Brenok for now, Sub-Archon.”

    “Does mom know?”

    “I’ll tell her after you leave.”

    “Oh, boy.”

    Demok jogged away and Brenok headed for the station’s infirmary.

    Both medics, Taret and Albek, were conversing when the gul entered their kingdom. Taret welcomed Brenok with a smile, Albek with raised eye ridges.

    “What can we do for you, sir?” Taret asked.

    “Actually, I came for Medic Albek.”

    “What can I do for you, sir?” the dishevelled Cardassian asked.

    “There is an emergency on one of our colonies and we need medical staff. Please choose two nurses. Medic Boreep will accompany you, too.”

    “I see. What kind of emergency?”

    “A virus caused a plague.”

    Taret’s eyes opened wider. “Can I help?”

    “I’d rather have someone stay here, on the station.”

    “Is it in danger too?”

    “Not if I can help it, but we can’t leave such populated an outpost without a medic.”

    Taret nodded his agreement. He looked at Albek. “We’ll be in touch.”

    “Of course,” the younger man replied, then looked at Brenok. “When do we leave?”

    “In fifteen minutes.”

    “I will need to gather some equipment.”

    “Make it fast and make it fit into a Hideki shuttle.”

    “Understood, Gul.”

    Brenok left the infirmary and pressed his wristcomm. “Brenok to Karama.”

    Karama here, sir.

    “Prepare shuttle Eheen for departure.”

    Errr, sir, I have already prepared the Elar.”
    Brenok smiled to himself. He liked when his aide was thinking ahead. “The Elar it is, then. Sub-Archon Demok, Medic Albek and his two nurses are assigned to this mission. Assign them three additional gareshes. No, make that two. I’ll get the third one.”

    Acknowledged,” Karama confirmed and signed off.

    Brenok entered a lift and said, “The tactical.”

    The lift took him directly to the tactical centre. The chamber was smaller than the command but apart from that almost identical. It wasn’t heavily manned but at that time it was not necessary.

    The gul looked around to locate the man he came for and noticed him in the pit, over an advanced tactical table that made even the one aboard the Damar look like a poor cousin.

    “Garesh Aladar,” Brenok called, descending toward the man. “Where is Garesh Dalar?”

    “Here,” Dalar’s voice came from somewhere above. Brenok turned to look up at the man in the golden armour.

    “Dalar, I need to steal Aladar. I hope you can spare him.”

    “Do I have a choice?” Dalar asked. He did not smile—he never did—but Brenok knew it was a show of Dalar’s sense of humour, not a defiance.

    “No,” the gul asnwered.

    Aladar approached Brenok. “What is the assignment, sir?” he asked directly.

    “I’ll explain later. You have ten minutes to take necessary things. For now you need to know this involves a colony, a virus and a plague.”

    “I’ll be ready in five.”

    Brenok didn’t expect anything else.

    Aladar, very much like Demok earlier, jogged away and disappeared in a descending lift. Brenok went to the transporter pad.

    “Beam me back to the Damar,” he told an officer on duty.

    “Yes, sir,” came the reply and a moment later the gul was back aboard his warship.

    CUW Damar
    Day 1

    Brenok pressed his wristcomm again. “Karama, meet me in the shuttle bay by the Elar.”

    On my way, sir.

    When Brenok arrived to the shuttle bay, Demok was already waiting there by the chosen Hideki class shuttle.

  10. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 4, 2008
    Cardăsa Terăm--Nerys Ghemor
    Whoa! Brenok sent Laran into harm's way without even telling Jarol he was going to do it! Brenok may not have risked their friendship before--but now it really could be at risk because now he's put Jarol's only child in mortal danger. :cardie:

    Hmm...I have two different theories about the origins of this virus. I have the feeling that the one you would choose and the one I would choose to be the real explanations will turn out not to be the same, though. Nonetheless, I still look forward to reading the story.

    As for Toral, I would not say he has malicious prejudice. That said, I can't say I wholly believe the idea that he wasn't making "species" judgments, given certain things that he said and did. Either that or he just doesn't know how not to come off like he is (and I suspect Federation citizens are quite sensitive to such things and would notice--which would not help with the obvious trust issues). I don't want to go into it here, but I can explain what about Toral's comments would've been a very bad thing for a cop in the US to say during a traffic stop!

    How come Toral has 3 glinns? I count Lorrun, Tassar, and Korel...

    Oh, and when you say Korel "purrs," exactly what kind of sound are you referring to? Does he sound like a cat? :lol:
  11. Gul Re'jal

    Gul Re'jal Commodore Commodore

    Jun 28, 2010
    Gul Re'jal is suspecting she's on the wrong space
    He knows she'd try to stop him and he'd have to pull rank again. He thinks this way is better. If he's right, that's another matter.
    Do you mean that he assumed the Hideki was stolen? Well, it was outside Cardassian territory, not so close to any former-Fed colony and he expected to see Cardassians inside. It wouldn't occur to him that there would be anyone else at the helm and when he saw a human, he assumed the guy had stolen a Cardassian ship. I'm not saying it justifies him, but that's what he thought.
    Korel is his aide, Glinn Grade Two. The others are heads of departments, Grade One.
    A kind of murmur. I tried to avoid a word that would have negative or rude connotations and it came out funny in the end ;) A bit like a cat, yes.
  12. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 4, 2008
    Cardăsa Terăm--Nerys Ghemor
    While I'd hate to see this destroy their friendship...I think this could do it. :(

    Yes. There is, unfortunately, a history of cops in the US deciding to pull people over because they thought a person with that appearance could not legitimately be driving that car. It actually happened to my boss on multiple occasions, and I believe him, when he talks about it. :(

    I see...I had never seen more than 2 on any of your ships before (either the Damar or the Roumar), so I got confused.
  13. Gul Re'jal

    Gul Re'jal Commodore Commodore

    Jun 28, 2010
    Gul Re'jal is suspecting she's on the wrong space
    That's not nice indeed :(
    But that's not how Toral thought. It didn't occur to him that this human was a Cardassian citizen, he thought it was a Federation citizen. In Cardassian property. The Cardassians don't give away their property ;)

    In the Shadow story there were 3 glinns aboard the Damar: Ya'val, Karama and Zamarran.
  14. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 4, 2008
    Cardăsa Terăm--Nerys Ghemor
    Thankfully my boss is the kind of person to see the humor even in awkward incidents--especially because he's the kind of person who always seems to think of the right thing to say at the right time, and he can make someone squirm (even a cop!) if they try something like that. So there's always a funny part of the story to tell; he doesn't tell the story to be bitter but rather because he's proud of whatever "zinger" he got off. ;) But I still thought it wasn't nice at all, when he said that had been done to him--and sad to know that such things really do happen.

    In his case, the cop didn't say what they suspected, but it was very, very, VERY clear that they did not actually have a reason for pulling him over other than prejudice.

    That's what I meant when I said that Toral probably wasn't experiencing malicious prejudice. It's more like he doesn't really know how to watch himself to avoid the more subconscious types of prejudice. He's not the kind (I don't think) who would use a racial slur or commit obvious forms of abuse the way we used to hear about Cardassian soldiers doing. But sometimes the more subtle kinds of prejudice take more effort to get rid of, and the fact that he forgets there are non-Cardassian citizens of the Union does show that he still experiences a form of bias. It's not the "I want to kill all those ______'s" type of bias, but it's still something to work past.

    Ohh...I never noticed that Ya'val was a glinn.

    Who knows...maybe I stopped counting after I saw Karama and Zamarran, since in my own stories there are usually only two who report to one gul.

    BTW...why hasn't Aladar gotten a promotion? It sounds like his responsibilities have really increased...
  15. Gul Re'jal

    Gul Re'jal Commodore Commodore

    Jun 28, 2010
    Gul Re'jal is suspecting she's on the wrong space
    He doesn't. Toral never really had any contact with non-Cardassians (except for wars he fought in). His duties keep him deep in Cardassian territory where only Cardassians live. He's got no experience in dealing with aliens.

    Aladar is a garesh, grade four. Dalar is grade five (the highest and as the commander of all non-cons he can be the only one with that rank on the station). So no worries, his skills are appreciated and were rewarded accordingly :)
  16. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 4, 2008
    Cardăsa Terăm--Nerys Ghemor
    That's good. Ever since he helped Kapoor with her Cardassian, and then helped save AU Dukat's life, I thought Aladar was the kind of person who should be able to really go places. :)
  17. Gul Re'jal

    Gul Re'jal Commodore Commodore

    Jun 28, 2010
    Gul Re'jal is suspecting she's on the wrong space
    Aladar is too nice to forget about it and abandon him :)
  18. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 4, 2008
    Cardăsa Terăm--Nerys Ghemor
    Indeed he is. :)

    And just because that "purr" you described was such a cute little detail, I HAVE to ask...with Koral, I'm kind of hearing a little "Mrrrrrr..." sound when he acknowledges certain orders. (How much he rolls the "r" I'm not sure! :lol: ) Does that sound about right? ;)
  19. Gul Re'jal

    Gul Re'jal Commodore Commodore

    Jun 28, 2010
    Gul Re'jal is suspecting she's on the wrong space
    He doesn't open his mouth and the "rrrrrr" sound would be deep in his throat so not really rolling or vibrating. It's rather mmmmrrrrrr deep in this throat and not reaching his mouth to come out. I don't know how to describe it better.
  20. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 4, 2008
    Cardăsa Terăm--Nerys Ghemor
    I think I get it now. :)

    My Cardassians do roll their r's to varying degrees depending on regional accent, so I guess I tend to imagine them all doing that. The "rh" is always trilled quite strongly (though that's a simultaneous trill/hiss). The "r" is always at least a "tap" like in Spanish, but in certain accents is rolled more strongly in certain positions. Dukat's accent is one that does so quite strongly.