Date: 31 May 2014 10:26 Title: The Oralian Way
I like how at the end of this, there is no resolution to the story, no resolution to the political tumult convulsing Cardassia. It stands to reason that in the wake of the Dominion War there will/would be a gulf between factions and sections of the Cardassian society. It also stands to reason that there will be a void of political leadership. Too many leaders are tainted by the failures of the past - working with the Dominion or part of the failed Detapa Council. Being a part of the military or a civilian government will serve to raise suspicions and/or derision from those of a different quarter. And now into the mix, as you explore here is the rise of the oppressed Hebitian faith followers. It seems that in response to the challenges they face, the people are likely to become more hardened in their viewpoints, some even more than hardened and become fanatical in their viewpoint and in seeking to see their own power rise. So it is a fascinating exploration of the melee of Cardassian politics, one I'm currently exploring myself. I liked how succinct this was and how you got to the cut and thrust of the issues and laid out the division and political treachery that is afoot. It promises for all manner of political upheavals and civilian unrest and one imagines that there is not an easy path ahead for the Cardassian populace.
The story itself fits very well within the DS9 canon context and is a natrual progression of it. I am not sure of the political analogies you draw in your blurb of whether they are necessary for the reader but it is your story and in fairness there is no political message being thrust upon the reader, instead we get different viewpoints and perspectives explored. Some of the detail of the first chapter felt a little too expository in terms of setting up who the various characters of the factions were in comparison to the canon counterparts but once past those segments it flowed much more naturally. The only other thing that took me out of the piece was the use by the Cardassian of the term shenanigans. it felt out of place, too human, and given the violence beign perpetrated, the word shenanigans feels too light and inconsequential to convey the violence and bloodshed of the disorder. Otherwise, a really tight piece exploring the rich political storyline potentials of post-war Cardassia, that was fair minded and explored story potentials rather than any author agenda.
Author's Response: Considering the theme of the challenge this story was originally submitted for, it seemed like a good analogy when looking into the minds of a race of people with a completely different set of values from those of humans. Damar spoke of helping his people achieve freedom, but freedom from Dominion rule rather than restoring individual civil liberties. Overall, glad you enjoyed that it was more a glimpse into the mindset of each faction and that the whole story lacked any resolution. It is merely a sign of things to come on Cardassia following the Dominion War's final resolution.
Date: 13 Sep 2011 09:16 Title: The Oralian Way
I read this story again and it's still as strong as when I read it the first time. Three different points of view and you present them all in a neutral manner; you don't validate who is right who is wrong, you let the characters speak without narration directing readers into any direction. That lets the readers to form an opinion themselves.
While I usually am not fond of Star Trek stories that are reflection of our Earth current reality, this one is not too obvious and it doesn't scream at me with it's political messages. Or maybe it's the Cardassian factor, which could be a soft spot ;)
I voted for this story in TrekBBS Challenge poll and I would vote for it again. Good job!
Author's Response: Wow, thanks for the second review. Thrax says it best when he says that all political factions have the right to peaceably assemble. Voltaire said something to the effect of "I may not agree with what you say, but I will strongly defend your right to say it." Those good words to live by in a world "Keep your opinions that I don't agree with to yourself." George Washington warned of the dangers of political parties in his farewell address-- and rightly so-- but a two or three-party system is preferable to the repressive practices on Cardassia up until the end of the Dominion War.