Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Gul Re'jal, Sep 24, 2010.
I think it was one of those cases when he wasn't even aware he was humming
I figured it's like steam in a teapot...it eventually HAS to get out.
I sure hope that if she messes up in another way, that they'll really start to figure out what's different between Cardassians and humans. Maybe Jarol will figure it out when Kapoor doesn't think to report a certain situation, that there's something different?
I think that's quite accurate
Some of Cardassians could think they should be lenient for a person, who has no "chain of command" instinct and would be more understanding if Kapoor makes mistakes. I think that's what Zamarran would think. He slowly comes to accept that she babbles without thinking and he doesn't take offence, as he knows it's just her way and she doesn't mean any disrespect. His attitude is a bit like Chinese treat foreigners, who know little of their culture - they are "barbarians" and need to be forgiven And educated
She says she likes him, but she doesn't realise he actually starts to like her too. He wouldn't admit it even to himself, but I think the fact that he smiles so much is telling.
Oh dear...now I have THIS in my head.
I used to have a corporate training instructor who made people sing that, and do the dance, when they were late to class. Now I'm imagining Brenok ordering Kapoor to do that as a punishment for being late to the bridge!!!
As long as they make sure not to see it as a disability, but as a natural trait of the species, that will be a HUGE help once they understand.
I'd say she's still intimidated. I can't wait to see what makes that change--when she starts to realize that she might even be able to make friends, not just colleagues.
She is. He's not exactly a pal for her and she knows there is little to none chance he could ever be. However she starts to understand that in spite of the distance between them, he doesn't abuse his position to intimidate her and that he actually is quite nice (as nice as a high ranking Cardassian could be to someone, who he considers almost a teenager). He expects respect from her, as from any other young, low ranking Cardassian, but he's not patronising her.
Now you're going to have that stuck in your head all day!
I'll send Jarol to you and she's going to deal with it "the Damar way"
Brenok -> <-Nerys Ghemor
Awwww! Cute smilie! And cute Cardassian!
I was sure this particular owner of ridges would be a good "cheerer up"
Does he make a good medic, too? Because I might need one after Jarol!
I don't know that. But he will surely try to sing your pain out
Chapter 4 – Day 7
We have arrived. Skarrat. Three planet system, inhabited by reptilian, dinosaur-looking people. Highly skilled artists. Peaceful. A planet of friendly cousins of a T-Rex.
The green ball of the planet was rotating below us and it looked beautiful. After oranges, browns and yellows of a Galor class warship I welcomed a view of green forests. The planet didn't look like raped by conquerors. I expected to see dry, brown, desert world, but this was pretty, fresh ball of nature. This was the occupied Skarrat?
Gul Jarol and Glinn Brenok beamed down, leaving Zamarran in charge. The engineer sat on the throne and his assistant – his aide, as they say here – Gil Ya'val motioned toward the main engineering console, at which I was sitting, to take his place, but Zamarran slightly shook his head. I glanced at him astonished, but he didn't look at me.
He left me in charge of his console!
I didn't dare to move to his chair, but started paying attention to the readings, ready to pick up anything wrong as soon as it would appear. Not that I read their language, but I already knew how the computer informed of problems. Red, flashing symbol and a string of letters to its right. The letters were surely a detailed information on the problem. I could report the problem simultaneously hovering my TP over the red text to translate and deliver more by the time Zamarran would react and demand details.
And it's not that I wanted anything bad to happen!
“Look here,” Zamarran pointed to his screen. “When you see something like this, you would know that everything goes as projected.”
I nodded and he continued his explanations.
It was very interesting to see how differently everything worked here. Deep Space Nine was equipped with a Cardassian computer, but after many upgrades and changes it didn't resemble one any longer – not in the means of operation. While I have already noticed that Cardassians allowed quite wide deviations from peak performance, they were monitoring them amazingly closely, making sure they didn't cross a line. And the way of monitoring was incredibly efficient. Partially it was because of their attention to details, partially thanks to their written language.
The system was set up to convey “positive” and “neutral” information horizontally, and warnings and “bad news” vertically.
Suddenly I noticed that Glinn Brenok was walking toward us. He looked all business and I was curious what he would ask Zamarran to do. But wait a minute... He was looking at me.
“Lieutenant,” he handed me a padd. “You have a special task.”
“Yes, sir,” I acknowledged that he had all my attention.
He called Ullmann to come to us and continued:
“Here are your detailed instructions. Both of you will be granted a special security access to our database to search for all and any information, regarding Skarrat.” The occupied world? Why did he want us to collect the data about their crimes? He waved at us to follow him and he led us to a console in the back of the bridge. “This will be your station. Be thorough in your research. We want your report as soon as possible, but don't rush. Do it properly.”
“Yes, sir,” we said in unison. Finally some real work!
“How are you doing?” Karama stood on the other side of our console and craned his neck to peep at our readings.
“We're busy,” I said.
“How busy?” he asked, but didn't look at me, his gaze was on Ullmann. She ignored him.
“Too busy for a chat,” I replied.
“Oh, I didn't come for a chat,” he was still staring at my colleague. Then he slowly moved around the console, stood on her right side and leaned on the console on his right hand. His left hand moved behind her; he put a padd on the console on her left. He didn't touch her physically, but it almost looked as he put his hand around her waist. “I came to give you this,” his voice was deep and had clearly had an erotic note.
“What's this?” I asked.
He glanced at me, smiled and then his attention returned to Ullmann. “You ask me what this is,” he said very quietly almost to her ear.
Her breathing became faster and louder.
Then he suddenly stepped back, went around the console and approached me from the other side.
“The padd contains the latest communiques from the planet,” he said in a normal voice. “I have entered them into the database already, but you may find there a few important things. I have extracted and marked them for your reference.”
“Thank you,” I said.
“My pleasure,” he smiled one of those wide, friendly smiles and returned to his console.
“How can you talk to him?” Ullmann asked me.
“He's nice for me,” I said and almost added 'because I was nice for him', but I didn't.
“Yes, because he doesn't think you're pretty. You're not interesting for him. I am.”
“He is teasing you only.” The 'pretty' comment was uncalled for.
“He is a Cardassian. He's dangerous.”
“He's not dangerous just because he is a Cardassian,” I protested.
“He harasses me since day one,” she hissed.
“No, he was only friendly. You were rude.”
“Why are you on his side?” she looked at me reproachfully.
“Ullmann, I am on no one's side. But I think you both are overreacting. I know you don't like him, but he never meant any harm to you. And even now, he doesn't touch you, just... suggests...” I pulled my face. “Look, no one else does that and they all are Cardassians.”
“Men in the mess hall are not much better.”
“Did anyone else accost you?” I worried. How come this didn't happen to me? Was I that lucky?
“No, but they stare at me. Like I were some weirdo.”
“Maybe it's your hair. They don't have blondes here. Karama seemed...” I silenced, seeing her gaze. Ok, this wasn't the best example.
We worked in silence for a few minutes.
“He would probably rape me long time ago, if we didn't share our quarters,” she said. “He can't afford to have a witness.”
I disagreed, but was sure convincing her would be waste of time. I made a decision to try to solve it from the other side.
I observed the bridge for a moment, wondering if it would be very wrong to go to Karama. Some officers were walking around to others and even if they weren't chatting, such movement seemed acceptable. I decided to take a risk.
I approached Karama's console. He looked at me a bit surprised.
“A problem?” he asked.
“No. I wanted to talk to you about Ullmann and those jokes you play on her.”
“What about it?” he returned to working on his console.
“Karama, why do you do this?” I asked him quietly.
“Because she expects it.”
“What do you mean?”
“Did I do anything to her? Did I really threatened her in any way?”
“No. She just assumed--” I started, but he interrupted.
“My point exactly,” he looked me in the eyes. “This is her punishment. She created this hell for herself, so she can live in it for all I care.”
“Could you please stop feeding her fears? Please?”
He stared at me.
“Please?” I made puppy eyes.
“I'll stop, but I do it for you, not for her.”
“Thank you,” I smiled.
He replied with a weak grin of his own, which faded almost instantly, and he returned to work. So did I.
Chapter 5 – Day 10
Ok, this was not good.
“Computer, hasperat,” I repeated, hoping that maybe it was some kind of error in accepting a voice command. And as before, the computer made an acknowledging sound and nothing happened.
Great. No breakfast today?
I went to retrieve a tricorder, a scanner, as they called it here, and tricorded, err, scanned the replicator. There didn't seem to be anything wrong with it. I took off the front panel, put my head and hand inside and hovered the scanner over every part of the machine that I could reach. Nothing. Everything was normal. No broken parts, no leakage, not nothing.
But something was wrong if the replicator didn't want to replicate me my breakfast!
“Computer, does the replicator in quarters har-kap-seven-forward malfunction?” I asked, suspecting the reply.
“The replicator in quarters har-kap-seven-forward is working within established parameters,” and the dear Mr. Scary Voice Computer didn't disappoint me.
“Computer, why doesn't the replicator work?”
“The replicator in quarters har-kap-seven-forward is working within established parameters.”
“So you've told me. Computer, why doesn't the replicator replicate?”
“The replicator in quarters har-kap-seven-forward is working within established parameters.”
“What's wrong?” Ullmann asked from the bathroom.
“It doesn't want to make me breakfast!”
“Maybe you need another boyfriend, who would bring you breakfast to bed?”
“Ha, ha, ha,” I said slowly.
“What?” I heard her laughing. “You're an engineer, the ship is your lover.”
“You're a scientist, are anomalies your lovers?”
“I'm going to get help, ok?” I shouted toward the bathroom.
“Ok,” she replied and I heard shower starting its work.
So, who could I ask for help. Zamarran was an engineer, but he probably wouldn't like the idea. I didn't know exactly why, but something was telling me that asking him would be another inappropriate thing to do.
I asked the computer where he lived and went there.
The surprise on his face was enormous.
“Sorry to bother you, but there is something wrong with my replicator and I can't find the reason.”
“What is wrong?” he asked. He was already wearing the inside part of his uniform, but not the outside armour.
“It doesn't replicate. I checked, but found nothing broken. Could you please take a look? I had no breakfast.”
“All right,” he agreed.
We returned to our quarters.
“Please wait here for a moment, all right? I'll just make sure Ullmann is fully dressed.”
“Of course,” he nodded.
I went back inside. It seemed like Ullmann was still in the bathroom. I knocked.
“Are you there?”
“Yes, you need to use it?”
“No. But make sure you are in the uniform when you leave, ok? We have a guest.”
I went back to the door to let Karama in.
I expected him to look around to see how two human women lived, but he went straight to the replicator. He entered some commands at the mini console on it, requesting some data, checked something and then looked at me.
“Did you monitor your rations?” he asked.
“Did I what?”
He pointed to the mysterious, round screen next to the replicator. “Your rations. Each weak you receive a certain amount of rations on your account. According to the counter, you used them all up.”
“I didn't know what that little round screen meant. I tried to read, but the characters were disappearing so quickly I never managed to translate them.”
“You could have asked.”
“Yes, but I was always forgetting to ask,” I sighed.
He opened his mouth to say something, when the door to the bathroom opened.
“You!” Ullmann yelled.
We both looked at her, startled by her shouting.
“What do you want!” she ran to her cupboard, circling him around and staying as far as she could. She retrieved a knife and pointed it at him.
He raised his hands, indicating he had no bad intentions, and stepped back.
“Get out!” she yelled.
“Ullmann, I asked him here to help with the--”
“Shut up!” she didn't even look at me, her eyes fixed on him. “Get the hell out, you bastard! I'd rather die then let you touch me!”
He slowly moved backward toward the door, still facing her. He tried not to make any rapid moves not to startle her and provoke her to use her knife. The door swished open and he stepped outside; there he lowered his hands, glanced at me and the door automatically closed.
Ullmann slumped to the floor and started crying.
I didn't know what to do. Maybe it wasn't such a good idea to ask him for help. But I had asked him a couple of days ago to stop harassing her, even in jokes, and he had promised to stop. She stopped complaining about him and he ignored her completely, he didn't even greet her in the morning. He treated her as she was air. I thought it was all fixed.
I was so wrong.
“Maeva, I'm sorry,” I said quietly. “I didn't mean to. I... I didn't think you would...”
“Get out!” she yelled. “You too, get out!”
This was bad, really bad.
“He didn't come here for you, but for me,” I said a little too harshly. And then I left.
He was long gone, but I knew I had to talk to him. To apologise for her behaviour. If he did something, if he said something, then I could understand her reaction, but he just was there. He had stopped bothering her and... What did she think? That he came to rape her? He didn't put his armour, so it would be more comfortable for him?
It was all my fault, wasn't it? I shouldn't have brought him to my quarters, should I? I had to make it up to both of them.
No breakfast for you today, my lady. Report to the bridge and you better think out a way to fix this.
I reported to the bridge, greeted whoever I was supposed to greet, and went straight to work. I had another huge chunk of Skarrat database to process today.
Ullmann appeared on the bridge shortly after me. Her eyes were still a bit red from crying, but no one seem to notice.
“I'm so sorry, Maeva,” I whispered, when she stood next to me at our console.
She just shook her head. “Let's not talk about it. I know what to do with him,” she said.
I opened my mouth to defend him and explain that he wasn't in our quarters for her, but decided against it. I doubted she would listen and I was sure she didn't want to talk about it any more. I made myself busy instead.
Karama entered the bridge in full uniform, but didn't even look in our direction. Ullmann glared at him and then returned to her work.
We worked in silence, gathering, screening and entering important facts to our padds.
Everything seemed fine, until I found a really strange thing. I stared at the screen, not really sure if my TP translated it correctly.
“What is it?” Ullmann noticed my motionless statue and looked over my shoulder. “Oh my God.”
The document was a record of an execution. What made it different from other documents of that sort was who had been executed. Not another Skarrat, or a rebel. It was their Prefect. The Cardassian was sentenced to death and hanged according to the Skarrat law..
“Let's see if we can find more on this,” Ullmann said.
She had found another Cardassian document, signed by the Prefect, Gul Markor, who had ordered executing all members of Skarrat resistance, including their families and friends. Everyone, who had any ties with the resistance, was supposed to be killed. I closed my eyes. I was quite sure that by that time almost every native on the planet had some connections with the resistance, which meant that the Cardassians would kill all Skarrats, all of them, to the last one.
I looked at Ullmann.
“I'm not going to tell them that,” she whispered. “They'd kill us.”
“It's their report,” I said, but could clearly hear doubt in my own voice.
“Will you go and report it?”
“Can you imagine what the Dragon Lady will do to us?”
I could. She was off the warship this very moment, visiting the planet, but she was supposed to return in the afternoon.
“What will we do?” Ullmann asked.
“I don't know,” I whispered.
“We could pretend I didn't find it.”
“No. If they find out that we found it and hid it, it would be even worse.”
“It doesn't matter how they execute you, you're still dead.”
“But they must know about it anyway,” I said.
“Do you really think they would allow us to prepare that report I they knew that we would find it?”
I shook my head.
“What do we do?” Ullmann asked again.
“We have to tell someone,” I said. Brenok was on the bridge, but I couldn't imagine going to him and saying: 'hi, I have the report ready. By the way, you have almost committed genocide on the Skarrats'. However I could imagine him going angry.
Maybe Zamarran? He was our direct superior, so we would follow the chain of command. And he can take it to the Gul. She probably would be less angry hearing about this from another Cardassian than from a human, wouldn't she?
“We can't hide it,” I whispered. “And you know it?”
Ullmann's eyes filled with tears again.
“I'll go,” I volunteered. “I'll talk to Zamarran first and report it to him.”
I decided to dig a little deeper, hoping I could find something to weaken to blow, but the more information I had, the worse it got.
I waited for Zamarran to return from his 'lunch break'. I lost my appetite completely and didn't feel like having a break at all. The longer I waited, the more nervous I was. The fact the that the Dragon Lady returned and was in her office wasn't making me feel any better.
Finally he arrived to the bridge and headed for his console. I took a deep breath, glanced at Ullmann, who wished me luck, and went to him.
“Sir,” I said to call his attention and continued once he looked up at me. “I have some information related to the report Ullmann and I are preparing.”
“What about it?” his eye ridges knitted.
“It's... disturbing...” I hesitated. Would he find it disturbing? Or would it be normal day's work? Did any Cardassians considered things like that atrocities, or just necessary, justifiable force application?
“In what way?” it definitely called his attention.
“If you would access the data currently displayed on our monitor,” he switched his view to 'our view' and studied the revelation. I stood next to him, I didn't want to look at his face to see how it was changing – or if it changed at all – while he read the documents. He looked at me.
“Is there more than this?” he asked.
“Yes. This is just the last material I have found. There is more documentation regarding this.”
“This is not directly related to the current situation and the proof that the Skarrats want to stay within Cardassian territory,” he said.
“No, it's not, but I think it is related and shouldn't be omitted.”
“Download everything to a padd and then call me.”
I returned to my console and did as he asked, and after that I went back to him.
He looked at me. “Come,” he said and headed for the Gul's office.
I glanced at Ullmann and she looked terrified too.
I followed Zamarran, but when I was on stairs I could clearly see Gul Jarol hit her desk with her fist, clearly very, very angry. What a perfect moment to be a messenger of bad news.
We waited for her to allow us to enter and then the engineer said.
“Lieutenant Kapoor has something to report, sir.”
“What is it?” in spite of explosion of fury a moment ago her voice was even and professional.
I gathered my courage and started.
“Gul, I have been collecting data regarding Skarrat history, especially the newest history, related to Cardassians.”
“And I found something very disturbing.”
I handed her the padd, to which I had uploaded all relevant information.
“I had searched local archives and found out that the previous Prefect had been executed according to the local law. I found it quite odd, so I tried to find the reason of his execution.”
How was I supposed to tell her that? What would she do? Would I be executed for delivering information like this? Maybe it was forbidden to criticise the Union's politics regarding occupied worlds. But wouldn't Zamarran tell me? Or he would be executed too, if he didn't deliver me to the Gul?
“Did you find it?” she looked at me. I must be brave...
“Yes, I did. You're not going to like it, Gul.”
“There used to be resistance on the planet. Every member of it was found and executed by Cardassian forces. Almost one fourth of the planet's population was wiped out. That called the Central Command's attention to the Prefecture and the Prefect, and they decided to send a new Prefect, Gul Kadal, to replace the old one. Gul Kadal brought the old Prefect to justice, local justice, for crimes against the Skarrats.”
She didn't say anything. I think she was shocked. She didn't expect that. Even more than this: she didn't like that. She didn't seem to find it acceptable use of discipline, or whatever they officially called their appalling actions. She didn't like killing people en mass any more than I did.
“I suppose you will place it in your report too,” she said finally.
What did she expect me to do? Should I save my own skin? I couldn't bring those dead people back to life, but I didn't want to join them!
“Gul, my task was to investigate the current situation and to find proofs that the Skarrats really don't want Cardassians to leave. I went deeper in my research than the task required, and yes, I have found disturbing information, however it was long time ago and Gul Kadal did his best to fix the situation. He was in trouble after that and I am not sure how come the Obsidian Order didn't take care of him, but he still is here and he made it work. The history is history. If the Skarrats could forgive the Cardassians, then who are we to tell them they can't live together in peace any longer?”
“If you don't see it as relevant and would not include it in your report, why do you tell me all this?”
Tell her you care about her being on top.
“Because if someone checks our report and finds that information is missing, it's better for you to know about it too, instead of being faced with it by someone else, by someone opposing you.”
Gul Jarol, to my surprise, smiled a bit.
“Thank you for your report, Lieutenant. If that's all, you are dismissed.”
I turned and left, Zamarran followed me after a few seconds.
I hated myself. I hated myself for being such a coward. For this show of bootlicking. For my despicable behaviour and cowardice. I was among Cardassians, and instead of showing them Federation values I lowered myself to their level in hiding their crimes. I bit my lower lip, trying to stop tears in my eyes. I went back to Ullmann and she immediately noticed that something was wrong.
“Are you in trouble?” she asked worried.
“No. Not with her,” I nodded once toward the office. “But my self-dignity and self-respect are gone.”
She didn't ask any more questions and I was grateful for that.
“Is she very mad?” Ullmann asked me suddenly.
“Who? The Gul?”
“I don't know. I think she is, but she was all professional to me.”
“Ok. So here goes nothing,” she took a breath and went to Brenok. He listened to her for a moment and then nodded once. She headed for the Gul's office.
What was it about? Did she have something to add about the atrocities? But wouldn't she talk to me first?
It wasn't long before Ullmann left the Dragon Lady's office and... left the bridge.
What was going on?
“Karama, my office!” The Gul's voice was like a thunder.
It was easy to guess what Ullmann told her. And she had told me she had a solution. She reported it. She went to the Gul and reported it. But he had already stopped. He wasn't going to do it any more, so why did she report him now? Was it because of this morning? Because of me? He was in trouble because I asked him to take a look at my replicator?
This day started badly and from that moment the 'bad' was only escalating.
It was the worst day of my life!
Karama returned to his post. He looked like she had beaten him; his head was hanging low and he seemed to shrunk. I felt sorry for him. I felt sorry for Ullmann. I felt guilty and miserable.
“It's time to end your duty for today,” Zamarran's voice startled me. I was so lost in my own thoughts that I didn't notice his approach.
At first I wanted to protest, but then I decided to do what he said.
“Yes, sir,” and since Brenok left the bridge and was in the Gul's office, I added, “Lieutenant Kapoor reporting end of her duty.”
“Dismissed,” he acknowledged.
I returned to my quarters.
Ullmann was sitting at a desk and recording a message, when I arrived.
“Sorry, didn't mean to disturb,” I said.
“That's ok, I've just finished.”
“How are you?”
I didn't know what else to say, so I just sat on my bunk and took a padd with cultural information on Cardassia. But I couldn't read, I couldn't concentrate for my thoughts were returning to the terrible events of this day.
A chime was an unexpected sound. We never had any visitors. Ullmann didn't react, so I went to open the door. The Dragon Lady herself paid us a visit.
“Gul Jarol, we didn't expect you,” I said quietly.
“I wanted to talk to Ullmann.”
“Yes, sir?” my colleague rose and came closer.
“Your duty will be changed to the night shift and you will not share duty time with Gil Karama.”
“Thank you, Gul,” she smiled with appreciation.
“Gil Karama has been disciplined. If he bothers you again, report it immediately and I will deal with it again, severely.”
That wasn't exactly fair. He was nasty, but he didn't mean any harm; his behaviour was misguided, but he never really attempted anything, and surely not this morning; and I was sure Ullmann presented this morning as a physical assault and an attempt of rape.
“Gul,” I said. I did so many risky things today that one more wouldn't make a difference.
“Gil Karama never meant any harm--”
“You knew about it?!” her gaze and voice changed and she was menacing again.
“I asked him to stop and he promised he would,” I told her.
“You knew about it and you didn't report it?” Clearly, it wasn't a satisfactory answer.
“I didn't think... I...” But he didn't do anything that bad. Ullmann was overreacting. He just wanted to scare her. It was rather a stupid joke than real malice.
“I don't know what kind of regulations are aboard Federation starships, Lieutenant, but here is Cardassia. We expect our officers to keep some standard. I expect my officers to conduct themselves exemplary. This was far from exemplary. It was your duty to report such outrageous behaviour. As a Cardassian, who you are on this ship, or a law-abiding person, if you prefer. As an officer. As a colleague,” she gave Ullmann a short glance and then her yes returned to me. “And as a woman. ”
“Yes, Gul. I didn't think it was that serious. I'm sorry, it won't happen again.”
“I hope so.”
If there was any shadow of self-respect left in me, it was gone now. Ullmann's gaze made me feel worse. She probably thought I have betrayed her.
And maybe I did.
I wanted to cry.
Chapter 6 - Day 11
My shift ended and I left the bridge, heading for the mess hall. I expected Karama to be there, as he had left the bridge earlier, but he wasn't present. Ullmann was just finishing her meal, sitting at the table alone. Other tables were quite crowded, but no one chose to join her. Or maybe she refused to sit with others.
“Mind if I join you?” I asked her, approaching.
“Not at all,” she smiled weakly. Some of Cardassians around glanced at me and then returned to their meals. “How was your day?” she asked when I returned with a bowl of something I chose from menu. The something was green and orange and resembled a soup.
“It was ok,” I said, tasting the first spoon. It wasn't bad, although wouldn't become my favourite dish. “I think Glinn Zamarran is testing me. My engineering skills.”
“And how is it going?”
“I don't know. I can't just ask him and he doesn't volunteer to tell me. However, as long as he's not angry, I consider it a success.”
“You don't aim high.”
“It's not that. This is not the Federation, this is Cardassian warship--”
“Don't remind me.”
“-- and things here are the Cardassian way.”
“I can't help but wonder why they choose this career. Here, it's not fun.”
I had to agree with her. There was little joy in duty here, only obligations. Of course, serving your planet and your people meant something, but still it was better to do all that and have some fun.
“I have to go the bridge, my shift starts soon,” she finished her supper... or was it her breakfast?
I only nodded, as my mouth was full. She headed for the exit and a few heads turned to look at her, and then turned back and a few men started whispering, nodding toward the door.
I ate slowly, hoping to see Karama tonight, but he didn't come. I swallowed the last spoon of my soup and returned to my quarters. I asked the computer where Karama was and it told me in this scary voice that the Gil was on deck eleven. According to the computer those decks were ground troops empire. I didn't know what he was doing there, but I wouldn't dare to go there myself.
“Computer, inform me when Gil Karama returns to his quarters.”
I hoped he wouldn't return too late. I still had to familiarise myself with next batch of 'the rules and regulation' of the almighty Cardassian warship Roumar, so in spite of being tired I couldn't afford to go to sleep yet.
“Gil Karama is in his quarters,” the computer rasped.
“What?” I startled and then realised Mr. Monster woke me up. My padd was laying next to me on my bed. “Computer, what time is it?”
“Oh two hundred hours.”
“When did Gil Karama return to his quarters?”
“Three minutes seventeen seconds ago.”
“So he shouldn't be sleeping yet.”
“Never mind. I wasn't talking to you.”
I rolled off my bed and ran to Karama's quarters, hoping to catch him before he went to sleep.
I chimed and waited. I decided not to chime again if there was no reply and was just about to leave, when the door opened and he stood in it. The first thing I saw when the door slid open was the spoon on his chest, where our sternum is, for it was perfectly on the level of my eyes. I raised my head to look in his face.
“What are you doing here at this hour?” he asked surprised.
“I wanted to talk to you, ask how you were doing,” I said, but in fact I was wondering why, exactly, I wanted to see him so much.
“Come in,” he said, moving away.
I stole another glance at his chest spoon. His collar bones were covered with ridges and big, thick scales. He wore a black singlet with Cardassian logo on the chest. His shoulders and arms were bare and I could see the scaled ridges going from his neck to his shoulders, and then on the outer edges of his arms to his elbows and wrists, where the ridges receded. The scales on his shoulders and elbows were visibly thicker.
Another interesting thing I noticed was a tattoo. It was on his chest, below his collarbone ridge. I couldn't see it whole, as the singlet was covering most of it, but there was something there.
Not only his Cardassianness was tempting my eyes not to leave his body. He was a fine man all right. Muscular, fit, clearly in top condition.
Wait a minute... Did I have a crush on him?
“How are you doing?” I asked. “I heard the Gul was pretty angry about all this mess with Ullmann.”
“She was furious,” he said. “Please, sit down.”
I sat on his sofa.
“Zobar milk, two cups,” he told the replicator and then brought both cups to the table and put one in front of me. “Will help you sleep later.”
“Is your duty longer now? You didn't come to the mess hall to have supper.”
“As part of my punishment I must report to work on lower decks.”
“Oh. Is it normal?”
“No. Our previous Gul's aide was using it often to discipline us, and believe me, it didn't take much to deserve to be sent there.”
“What do you have to do exactly?”
“All those things militia troops do, and more. From polishing ship's bulkheads to physical workout. It's mundane, boring work. The worst part is that we have to serve militiamen. As to hand them things, do things for them. They can order us around. Enlisted troops give bridge officers orders. Fun,” he muttered.
“For how long?”
“Two weeks. And believe me, every Garesh enjoys it.”
“Why would someone choose a job like this?” I wondered aloud.
“It pays well.”
“Yes. Serving in attack troops is considered a high risk career, so their remuneration is adequate.”
We looked at each other, both surprised by the other's reaction.
“What did you expect? That we work for--” he didn't finish.
“Free,” but I did. “Of course, you still use money.”
“They say Ullmann stopped your promotion,” I said.
“The Gul stopped my promotion, not Ullmann,” he replied.
“Are you angry?”
“I regret it. Gul Jarol was right, I should have just stopped talking to this biased bitch, but I didn't,” he pursed his lips. “You know what I regret?” I shook my head. “I regret I disappointed the Gul. I don't care about promotion, I don't care about Ullmann and what she thinks of me, not any more. I don't care about the reprimand the Gul is going to put into my file. It all can be fixed. But I lost my Gul's respect and trust. She thought I was something more, something better and I left her with an idiot on the bridge.”
“You're too harsh. I'm certain she doesn't think so.” To be honest, I wasn't certain. Gul Jarol was like a queen for me: powerful, beautiful and don't you dare to look in her face. I wouldn't be surprised if she judged people harshly.
“But I feel so”.
I could understand that. I wouldn't like to disappoint my Captain too.
I didn't want to keep him up for long, so I left his quarters soon.
He was right. The zobar milk put me to sleep as soon as my head touched my pillow.
I have to say, I definitely agreed with what Kapoor thought, about losing some self-respect by acting as though she condoned the atrocities. I hope we'll get to see more about what the Cardassians think about what happened--or more, that Kapoor will get to see it.
The episode with Karama in their quarters...wow. That was awful. Honestly, I'm amazed Ullmann didn't get in trouble for brandishing a weapon at a Cardassian, no matter HOW much Karama started deliberately provoking her. But to see the way the other men in the mess hall looked at Ullmann and seemed to be talking about her--we can also see just what a horrible example Karama set for those below him in the hierarchy. I find myself wondering how soon Ullmann will be sent back to the Federation for her own good.
But what I like is seeing the way Karama is taking his punishment. I remember when I said that what would determine the quality of his character is whether he would blame others or recognize that he brought it on himself by egging Ullmann on. And he definitely seems to be accepting that he did this to himself. That's something not everybody can do, and it shows that Karama will indeed be able to learn and in the end will be a better person.
I think Karama didn't report the knife, because he felt he was responsible for this kind of behaviour. Reporting it would also mean the brass would learn that he had harassed her. He's too smart not to know that his behaviour was wrong, and maybe that's also the reason he accepts the responsibility and blames only himself, not anyone (or everyone) else.
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