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Reviewer: Nerys Ghemor Signed [Report This]
Date: 17 Nov 2011 02:14 Title: Epilogue


Saratt has found happiness, and not only that--it's very clear that he's done the exact thing the Order tried to stop: he has influenced at least one young mind to follow in his footsteps and create even more beautiful things for people to enjoy.

And he found his voice. :-)

I wish I could tell him that no one with a heart like his, one that shows so clearly in those eyes and that smile, could possibly be ugly.

But finally, it seems like things are so much more right.

Author's Response:

Saratt took what he had and formed it to bring him happiness. After his experiences, he doesn't search for things to make him happy, instead he takes what he has and is happy.


Thank you for reading the story again, in spite of nightmares it caused the  first time ;) And for the detailed reviews :)

Reviewer: Nerys Ghemor Signed [Report This]
Date: 17 Nov 2011 02:11 Title: Chapter 23

Such a sweet resolution for the Karamazov crew--the beginning of healing in Jeto, and th'Arshar and Brenok finally able to get along with each other.  The banter between them is priceless. :-)

As for the destruction of the ship--it's about damn time! That was very satisfying watching it happen.

And another satisfying thing...seeing what high spirits Saratt is in, even with all of the terrible challenges he still faces.  My goodness, what a lot of nerve he has to sass the commander of the Cardassian Guard that way!  You go, Saratt!  Make him learn the hard way! ;-)

As for Jarol stepping down, that was much needed, though I would have preferred her not to be in the military anymore.  Power is far too tempting for her.  But I do love her interactions with Laran and Brenok from a family perspective.

Author's Response:

Th'Arshar and Brenok, in spite of a rough start and their differences, gradually grew to respect each other. They know that deep inside they have more in common than they used to think. And when all tension was gone, they could allow themselves some more joking ;)

Saratt isn't afraid any anything, even powerful people. He feels the world belongs to him now! :D

The original Mar'kuu government is going away, so she felt it was her time to leave too. Now Brenok will be the one giving orders :D

Reviewer: Nerys Ghemor Signed [Report This]
Date: 17 Nov 2011 02:06 Title: Chapter 22

O'Riordan really shows what a nasty, prejudiced jerk she is, that she would essentially accuse Ya'val of deliberate negligence.  Fine "doctor" she makes.  She should take some lessons from Taret.

Tarub handles O'Riordan's bile quite admirably.  (In fact, did he learn that "Ma'am" part from Kapoor?)

It was so fortunate that they were able to get Saratt off the ship--the Order sure tried to prevent it.

What made me so sad, though, was the realization that he would not get one of the things back that I had wanted most for him: his voice.  Fortunately it seems like Saratt himself is grateful for having his life back, but it seems like one more nasty indignity inflicted on him by the Obsidian Order that he still can't speak, even in freedom.

At least it doesn't seem to be stopping Saratt from forming a deep friendship with Brenok.  Nor does it stop him from celebrating little victories and even starting, it seems, to have a little fun with Brenok. :-)

Author's Response:

O'Riordan showed her real attitude. She cared for her patient in spite of his species, but she didn't care for healthy ones and went as far accusing them of negligence.

As for where Tarub knows that word. That detail is not in any story yet, but in case it'll appear somewhere, let's just say he travelled a lot and probably heard the word used by someone in the Federation.(I can reveal the detail in PM, if you'd like to know.)

Saratt lost his voice, but not his spirit. Right now he's happy not to be in pain and treasures that comfort :)

Reviewer: Nerys Ghemor Signed [Report This]
Date: 17 Nov 2011 02:01 Title: Chapter 21

I had trouble with re-reading this chapter because I knew what was coming. :(  Even when I read it the first time I had a bad feeling as soon as Zamarran cut his hand.

Even the first time around, I remembered having a terrible suspicion for what felt like months that such a system could exist, but I did not share that fear in our PM conversations for fear you would incorporate it into the story.  Unfortunately, the sickness of the Obsidian Order was so bad that it wasn't hard for the same awful thought to appear independently in both of our minds. :(

I do at least want to comment on a few things.

Poor Taret.  His grief here is so deep, and I hope he will not come away from this mission believing he is a failure.

And Bantal's final act was far more noble than anything I ever thought he was still capable of.

I know you had a different soundtrack in mind, but I am still going to post the link again to the music that came to my mind.

"The Stone Table":

Author's Response:

The Obsidian Order never really planned to unplug them, so I don't think they wanted anyone else to be able to do that. Too many traps were in the ship's systems to leave this huge matter safe.

I don't think Taret thinks he's a failure; he probably realises he did everything in his power and he's not to blame, but it doesn't make him feel any better. This wasn't a typical patient and he so wanted to save him.

And Bantal...maybe he wanted to do something really meaningful and good before his death. To even all evil things he did. I didn't want him to easily fall into the black&white category--it would make it very easy to judge him. He's grey. And now it's harder to say, "He got what he deserved," if anyone thought something like that.

Reviewer: jespah Signed [Report This]
Date: 16 Nov 2011 23:32 Title: Epilogue

I liked the "here's what happened later" aspect of it all, that there is a version of a kind of a happy ending. A good, hopeful conclusion!

Thank you for a fascinating story.

Author's Response:

That epilogue scene was written and ready when I was in still the middle of the main story. I just had to end that way. After all that suffering, death and horror, I needed something brighter.

Thank you for reading and reviewing! :) I really appreciate that!

Reviewer: jespah Signed [Report This]
Date: 16 Nov 2011 23:31 Title: Chapter 23

I like how Jeto is beginning to come around. She saw a sacrifice, and is beginning to understand that looking in black and white isn't fair, productive or accurate in any way.

The creation of the station is an interesting upshot to all of it - essentially, it's two superpowers agreeing to unite in a joint venture to address a common threat.

Is the shadow information (e. g. that shadows are important to Cardassians) canon?

Author's Response:

Yes, Jeto's healing started. It's still a long way before she accepts that one half of her isn't evil and the Cardassians aren't devils from Pah Wraith hell, but she made the first step to see that things aren't exactly as she always thought.

The station section was a kind of introduction of my next story, which takes place on that station. But it also shows that Cardassia is coming out from its isolation and is ready to slowly re-join the rest of the Alpha Quadrant.

The shadow information is not canon. It was inspired by a song by a Polish song :) That's why Brenok sings about it ;)

Reviewer: jespah Signed [Report This]
Date: 16 Nov 2011 23:29 Title: Chapter 22

It makes a lot of sense to use the military to do the cutting, lifting, etc. as they could be counted on to do a set of precise, synchronized movements. It definitely worked like a military drill, almost balletic.

I like the slow recovery, too, the huge victory when Saratt could move his tongue, etc. (that makes sense for spinal cord injury recovery - the tongue is controlled by a specific set of nerves of course). As writers, we can show a kind of slow progression with such things that just isn't available on TV or in films.

Oh - and Av'Roo's gift - lovely - and her understanding - it reminds me of an old Robert Palmer song, "I Didn't Mean to Turn You On".

Author's Response:

Saratt has a long road ahead of him, but he takes bold steps and enjoyed every moment of his freedom.

Av'Roo and had to be awfully embarrassing for him what had happened and that later she actually learnt what had happened, but they both behaved like adults and managed to work it out. And still be able to talk to each other ;)

Reviewer: jespah Signed [Report This]
Date: 16 Nov 2011 23:26 Title: Chapter 21

The blinking signal - I have to say, it's a bit confusing to me. Usually, I've seen it as once for yes, twice for no, and I think you have those reversed. It's certainly not a universal thing, but you might want to clarify that for the reader. I would suggest spellling it out for any chapter in which you're going to use it, e. g. it could be a specific statement, one means no, two means yes or something subtler, like Bantal blinked once, and that meant he disagreed. That would assist the reader, I feel.

What an awful way for Bantal to go! But Jeto was right - it was too easy. Now they'll know better.

Author's Response:

When writing the story, I tried so hard not to mess up with those blinks. Seems, like I didn't fully succeed.

Yes, Bantal's end was sad and horrible. The Obsidian Order wouldn't make things easy for anyone who'd try to do something they didn't like.

Reviewer: jespah Signed [Report This]
Date: 15 Nov 2011 23:26 Title: Chapter 20

The image of the model is lovely and is extremely touching. It's a welcome break from the horrors going on elsewhere in the story.

Author's Response:

For me this was one of the saddest scenes to write, because details of Ma'Kan's hobby are presented at the time of her grieving, but little models of ships is something she likes to spend her free time on. I'm sure she has a collection of cute, little vessels in her quarters ;)

Reviewer: jespah Signed [Report This]
Date: 15 Nov 2011 23:25 Title: Chapter 19

Ah, confirmation of Nagem's background. And - the Lakarian Painter! Awful!

Author's Response:

The Obsidian Order proved what kind of sick "sense of humour" they had naming the ship like that. They probably thought it was funny :(

And Nagem revealed her true face.

Reviewer: Nerys Ghemor Signed [Report This]
Date: 15 Nov 2011 05:43 Title: Chapter 20

I'm not surprised Ma'Kan threw the Karamazov model, even though Sabal worked on it.  I can understand for sure how she wants to kill Ha'varra, and I think I'd feel those same murderous feelings in her place.  I suspect, though, that the alien ship looked like a scar and a wound to her, too.  A hateful thing.  It actually kind of surprised me to see that she wanted to put it back together even considering what it represents.   (A phrase commonly heard on nuBSG comes to mind: "the harbinger of death.")


With Bantal, the tragedy (to me) is that the Obsidian Order seems to have destroyed him internally as well as externally, and bent his love until it made him willing to kill anybody and everything.  And it was rather frightening to "hear" Brenok's thoughts as he thought that he would not resist being warped internally in that same way rather than remaining true to his conscience as Saratt did.  I hope that was hyperbole on Brenok's part, or an irrational thought brought on by the horror he saw.

Author's Response:

I think right now the little Karamazov is something that Sabal worked on with her and not a symbol of the place of his death. The ship didn't kill her friend, but a man.

I remember when I was writing that scene with Brenok, it disturbed me. When I was editing it yesterday, it disturbed me again. It disturbs me mostly because it's not what Brenok is like and the fact that he has such thoughts proves how terribly shaken he is after seeing all those horrors. How far from his normal state of mind. How angry. He doesn't have enough cruelty in him to be able to kill everyone in sight, so if he, at that moment, was thinking he would be able, he had to be furious and far from his normal self. Even if he believes that he would do everything for his daughter, when faced with such a situation he wouldn't be able to make himself commit anything that horrible. He always wanted his daughter to be proud of him and becoming a Bantal would not gain him any respect; neither hers nor his own.

Reviewer: Nerys Ghemor Signed [Report This]
Date: 15 Nov 2011 05:27 Title: Chapter 19

A crown of spikes.  Oh my God, on re-reading, the image struck me far more powerfully than before and I found myself wondering if you did this deliberately or perhaps subconsciously instead.  But that evokes the crown of thorns.

Saratt has been made into a living crucifix--a gentle-natured man stretched out, "beaten" beyond recognition, his clothes taken away, and attached to that table.

And of course crucifixion is the origin of the word "excruciating" to describe the worst pain.

I hate to ask--but I do promise you won't offend me at all with your answer--but was that parallel imagery and phrasing deliberate on your part, or perhaps subconscious?


As for Dr. Zabar, even in the face of the enormous guilt (rather misplaced) that she feels, it is good at least to see that she has found some way to stay true to who she is and still connect with the people around her, and find some (non-mean) humor in the people she is dealing with.

And her care for Saratt is deeply, deeply touching.


The name of the ship...barfworthy.  Utterly barfworthy.


As for that last exchange between Brenok and th'Arshar, boy, did th'Arshar ever screw up by shoving his belief in Federation moral superiority in Brenok's face.  Had I been in th'Arshar's place, it's possible I might've used the same words, but had a totally different explanation when Brenok got angry.

"No one likes to think that there could be such evil in their own home.  The place they believe in.  I don't want to.  But I'd be a fool to think it's impossible."

Author's Response:

I had to create the image subconsciously, because it didn't occur to me to see it that way until you pointed it out now, in this review. And right now I'm a bit shocked myself at the imagery O_O

Once more th'Arshar showed that he's not a skilled diplomat. Well, not everybody can be Picard ;)

Reviewer: jespah Signed [Report This]
Date: 14 Nov 2011 23:44 Title: Chapter 18

Ha'varra - I can't recall if he has already been introduced. Has he? I am thinking yes, but only briefly, and it was a while back. So the motive becomes more difficult to accept, save the "I am killing the son because I can't get to the father" kind of madness.

Oh, Nagem - you were too good to be true. I like her behavior as a character, and her continuing to believe in her psychotic mission. It seems very much like people in former Soviet bloc countries who had been informants, and now complain and want a return to the old way of things, even when there's the slightest problem. A long line for the bathroom? It was better under the Commies!

Very well-etched portrait. A good, chilling villain.

Author's Response:

Ha'varra appeared in the first chapters. He's the counselor. He was also present during the disastrous dinner.

Oh, I heard "it was better under the Commies" too many times in my own country and not only from some servants to the system :(

But you are right--Nagem still believes in her mission and that "old" Cardassia was better. She's got one of those twisted minds that made her serve in the Obsidian Order in the first place and then made her a dedicated agent, who even agreed to be a part of that experiment.

Reviewer: jespah Signed [Report This]
Date: 14 Nov 2011 23:41 Title: Chapter 17

Assuming that Federation justice is analogous to the American/British system of justice (and it might not be; it could be based on Civil Law, which is French, or something else), one part of the explanation that th'Arshar gives is missing.

There is bail - a suspect need not be kept in confinement prior to trial, provided he or she can make bail. Even in a society beyond money, the concept of bail could still exist, as the accused could be asked to put up a house or other type of collateral. Or the accused could, perhaps, consent to keeping some sort of a tracking device on his or her body in exchange for pretrial freedom (similar to ankle bracelets that are currently used for house arrests).

Nagem - ah, our mystery gal is awake? Can she be trusted. I don't think so.

Author's Response:

Good point about bail. Still, this happens after the arrest and before proving one's guilt in court, so still would be a bit strange for Brenok ;) will soon see wherether or not she's trustworthy.

Reviewer: jespah Signed [Report This]
Date: 14 Nov 2011 23:38 Title: Chapter 16

In some ways, Jeto gets off too easily - certainly it would be a near-ideal coverup to blast a pair of Cardassians, and then make it look good by "saving" Karama. She also wouldn't be the first person to (sickly) create a dangerous situation as a means for turning herself into a hero.

I don't really like Jeto going to Sick Bay. It seems out of character for her, and the exchange with Kapoor is, I don't know, odd.

Surely there are nurses there, and someone's got to be noticing the exchange. While it's not the nurses' job to intervene, it's also neither the time nor the place to discuss such things. Jeto just comes across as insensitive and, frankly, beyond stupid, to think that what she was asking (why is everyone so obsessed with the Kapoor-Karama sex life?) has any level of appropriateness attached to it.

She just seems to keep failing Basic Sentient Species Interactions 101, and often behaves like a person with no experience whatsoever in space - and that cannot be the case, given her rank.

Author's Response:

I think Jeto, in spite of everything, needed to see how Karama was doing. And then curiosity made her stay and talk to Kapoor.

Why is everyone asking about their sex life? Maybe to see if Kapoor is in fact a comfort woman and not a wife. Cardassians have a bad reputation, so people can't help but wonder. It's another matter that it's not their place to ask.

Somewhere in the beginning of the story, when th'Arshar thinks about her and her reaction to upcoming co-operation with Cardassians, it's said that her problems hindered her career and she was able to advance in rank on the Karamazov, because no one gives her a hard time about her looks on this ship. I don't think she'd be a lieutenant if she served anywhere else.

Reviewer: jespah Signed [Report This]
Date: 14 Nov 2011 23:34 Title: Chapter 15

Another marathon reviewing session.

With the written message, I was glad to see Jeto able to work, under the given parameters - e. g. not having to lookm at the Cardassians. That seems to be a requirement for her. It's not a great solution, but it's expedient and it ends up being workable for the time being.

But then when she is in the presence of Ya'val, things go haywire. The interchange between them is of course a lot more disturbing. Truly, she should lose her post, or be busted a rank, for pulling such nonsense.

And then - egad! Bleeding and dying Cardassians!

Author's Response:

Jeto is deeply wounded person with a long list of problems. And the presence of Cardassians makes all those disturbed feelings come out and her distorted interpretation of what Cardassians are is very palpable. She doesn't see people, she sees Pah Wraiths.

Reviewer: Nerys Ghemor Signed [Report This]
Date: 14 Nov 2011 06:05 Title: Chapter 18

Now that th'Arshar has actually looked into the eyes of the officer who betrayed him, it seems that his defensiveness is over.  That "I will mourn you" remark seemed like it was a deliberate dig at Ha'varra, and I can't blame him at all.

And I was right about Nagem--and what was interesting was the first time I read this story, before I knew what was coming, and even before she was awake, there was a sign I was watching for that was going to tell me if she was lying.  And that was whether she could use Saratt's and Bantal's names.  The fact that she could not told me she had to be an agent, because at least in my personal supposition, no one who plugged in and communicated with those two men and heard the torment in them and had any compassion in their heart could be so cold unless they were an agent.  A complete and total waste of Cardassianity.  I'd say Jeto described her just right.

And I totally don't believe her about the vote to unplug Saratt.  I would not be surprised if such a vote took place (and I bet they did it right in front of him, too), but even if she did make some kind of halfhearted gesture, I'm sure after that she turned her back, shrugged, and said, "Oh well.  Shit happens."

At least we learned one good thing: that Saratt's paintings brought his beloved city back to life.

Author's Response:

Th'Arshar is angry, so right now he doesn't feel like defending Ha'varra any more. I'm sure when he cools down he won't like the fact that Ha'varra faces execution most likely, but at that very moment he was so disappointed and furious that he could tear the counselor to pieces with his bare hands.

Nagem showed her true face and she is proud of what she is. Brrrr...

Saratt had very little time to create his art, but what he did was enough to make Cardassia better and his service to Cardassia was much more valuable than Nagem could ever dream of.

Reviewer: Nerys Ghemor Signed [Report This]
Date: 14 Nov 2011 05:54 Title: Chapter 17

Wow, th'Arshar pitched quite the temper tantrum there, didn't he?  I understand very well why he was angry, but that was some very poor, undiplomatic handling of the situation.  One suspects part of the reason he "only" has a science command rather than a larger, more military vessel is because Starfleet recognized this as one of th'Arshar's failings.

At least he did realize what he'd done and come back to find out more, although not in the most diplomatic manner.  He surprised me--pleasantly--with the "I am" perfect remark.  It was good to see Brenok laugh, too.

That said, their interaction after they found a suspect for the murder was not exactly the best, and I think Brenok made a really ugly assumption there, assuming th'Arshar would knowingly hide a murderer.  He has got to learn to stop doing that.

And now they've woken that woman out of stasis.

"Core One" and "Core Two."  She said that even knowing what their real names were.  Whatever she is or is not, there is one thing we know she is: a total bitch.  Personally, I'm not going for the crocodile tears any more than Brenok is.

Regarding the betrayal Fong feels...I wonder if Zamarran thought at all about what happened when Nadar turned out to be a traitor and, similarly, also tried to kill Karama.


Just one question: "executed on the spot" and then "charged like any other Obsidian Order agent"?  Isn't that a bit out of order?

Author's Response:

Both th'Arshar and Brenok still make mistakes, still jump to conclusions and still need to learn how to be perfectly diplomatic.

I'm not sure I consider "I am" remark perfect. More of "at the wrong place and time," but th'Arshar wanted to say it, so I had no choice than to allow him ;)

Maybe Zamarran thought about Nadar and Karama, but I am sure he wouldn't want to talk about that to anyone, especially not to Karama.

Oh, darn. It's supposed to mean "after assisting in the rescue operation" she will be charged like any other agent, not after being executed. Hmm, I think I should edit that to make it clearer.

Reviewer: Nerys Ghemor Signed [Report This]
Date: 13 Nov 2011 18:54 Title: Chapter 16

I'm glad that Brenok has put Zamarran in charge of the investigation.  The Cardassian Hotchner will get to the root of the matter without any unfounded judgments. ;-)  The fact that Zamarran is able to remain composed and objective even with the anger he clearly shares with Brenok really says a lot about him.  I think that to him, it must be important not just that someone pay, but that the right person pay.  I get the feeling he'd feel like crap if he discovered that innocent blood was shed to pay for innocent Cardassian blood.

I hope Brenok won't decide that bringing the Federation in on this mission was a mistake, because of what the perpetrator has done here.  How he files his official report on this could be VERY critical.  It could even lead to war, depending on how it's written and how Central Command chooses to react to it.  It doesn't have to be written that way--but it could be.


I was glad to see Jeto find a moment of compassion, even after the nasty accusations she had to face, to come see Kapoor and Karama.  I suspect it evaporated when the Cardassian soldiers showed up and (in Jeto's eyes) dehumanized Kapoor again and made her a traitor, but at least for a moment, it was there.

Which, by the way, is also why I think Kapoor got two armed guards: she's small and probably not much of a fighter--and I suspect Ma'Kan believes that her presence could make the murderer even angrier because to them, she would indeed be a traitor.


And how horrible to see the extent of the lies the Obsidian Order told Saratt--and by threatening to torment Sabal!  It seems very clear that he suspected they were lying.  He couldn't have imagined how much so, I'm sure--but I definitely get the feeling he knows they are not telling the truth about some very, very big, very ugly things.

Saratt has such a noble heart.  No one should suffer this way, but this makes it hurt even more that he is. :-(

Author's Response:

I'm not sure Fong would agree with your agreement. He won't like Zamarran's approach to the investigation.

For Zamarran it's "easy" to keep control, because it's in his nature to be controlled. Discipline is a part of his personality, so usually he is able to remain cool-headed even if something angers him.

I don't think Brenok will write report right now, when being so shaken. He's not even thinking about it. When he calms down a little, he should think more straight and be responsible for how he presents the situation to his superiors.

As for Jeto seeing Kapoor as a traitor--I don't know why she would. She doesn't know anything about Kapoor's past and choices, so I don't know why she would assume Kapoor betrayed the Federation. By marrying a Cardassian? Jeto'd rather assume Kapoor is mad, but not a traitor. Another thing that I disagree Kapoor is a traitor :P

Now we know how meaningful and deep the relationship between Saratt and Sabal was. Saratt wanted to protect his friend from a terrible fate and you are right--he knew that all those Obsidian promises were nothing but lies. And even suspecting the truth, he was far from the real truth :(

Reviewer: Nerys Ghemor Signed [Report This]
Date: 13 Nov 2011 17:52 Title: Chapter 15

Not only was it horrible for Sabal to be murdered, and a horrible tragedy in that he never found peace with himself, Saratt, and everyone on the Damar crew, it also seems that this confirmed to both crews all of the worst things about each other, and erased whatever good will might have started to build up between them.  (Which even included Jeto...but I'm sure that's gone now that she has seen what the "Cardassianized" Kapoor thinks.  I'm sure she saw, rather than a distraught wife, a human that threw in with those evil, racist Cardassians.)

Technically I think Brenok is wrong to call for extradition here.  I get how he feels--one of his crew has been murdered and he more than deserves to be furious!--but I don't think that's how international law actually works.  The way I believe international law works on Earth is that you are tried in the country where you committed your crime, although sometimes if the perpetrator isn't caught until they got back to their home country, sometimes the home country refuses to send that person back if they don't like the country where the crime is committed or there is no treaty. 

Perhaps the Cardassians are too used to demanding their own way in every relationship they have with other powers; if they ever expect to deal with the rest of the galaxy on other terms but hostile ones, Brenok, Jarol, and others are going to have to learn that kind of behavior won't fly.  That they cannot choose between attack, demand, or stomp out of the room when they don't get their way, and instead must find other options and understand that sometimes they will not get all of what they want.

To use a real-life example, an American was accused of murdering a British citizen on Italian soil.  She was not tried in the UK, but in Italy because that was the jurisdiction where the crime--whoever did it--took place.  She was ultimately cleared, but that was a matter for the Italian justice system, not the British or American ones.

I will give Brenok some credit for learning from the lesson of the "dinner gone bad," when it comes to dealing with Kapoor.  Even though she had a right to be angry, I appreciate that he did not allow her to misdirect her anger into ugly assumptions about Jeto and cause an incident.  She did still make her remarks, but I would think that at least in th'Arshar and the Federation crew's eyes, it would have to count in Brenok's favor that every time she did it, she got a rebuke from her commanding officer.

Still, I understand Kapoor's anguish.  While I do think she made the wrong choice back in Among the Dragons to stay with the Cardassians even with what was going on (and her hostility towards Jeto and her assumption there is disturbing, though it does at least seem like she immediately regrets it), there is no denying the fact that this is her husband who is fighting for her life, that they were happy as a couple, and that she, as with any spouse in a situation like this, wants justice.  And personally...I know this is not the popular thing among Star Trek fans to say, but I think that if sufficient evidence is provided to remove all doubt as to who did it, some crimes require the death penalty to ensure that person never does it again and that others get the message that people who commit such acts will be dealt with severely.  And the Federation does not seem to understand that.

Ronus seemed to me to be thinking diplomatically, and I'd say he was the "adult in the room" this time, since th'Arshar was definitely not controlling himself and made a very poor choice to defend his crew at the cost of making it look like he didn't care about the murdered Cardassians who obviously had to be dead at the hands of his crew.  He should have been apologizing--whether he felt like it or not, he should have done so from an official capacity.  And I think, personally, he should have felt like it, too.  He should have been ashamed.

Maybe he will be, behind closed doors later once he gets time to cool down.  But that was definitely a very bad moment for th'Arshar.


Back to the horror aboard the's good to see that Dr. Zabar is coming to help Saratt and the other one.  The sooner, the better.

Author's Response:

I'm not a specialist from international law, but I remember two cases. One was a Pole who committed a crime in Britain, the other one  a Dutchman who committed a crime in Poland. They were judged and sentenced in the countries where they committed their crimes, but after their trials sent back to their own countries to serve prison time. This is probably according to some European law agreements.

Now, Cardassia and the Federation have no regulations at all. Brenok is very, very angry here, so he doesn't think in diplomatic or reasonable way. He's just learnt that one of his officers is dead and another one is fighting for his life on the operating table, so he doesn't think completely clearly. Nor does Kapoor. They're hurt and suffering and the thing on their minds is most likely revenge and hurting back. They need a while to cool down and then start thinking reasonably. If it immediately went to Jarol, she wouldn't be as emotional and she would be more cool-headed than Brenok is right now.

Th'Arshar probably can't believe that someone from his crew--his friends and colleagues--did something like this. He's in some kind of denial. "It's some kind of mistake" is probably what he'd like to say.

Reviewer: Nerys Ghemor Signed [Report This]
Date: 10 Nov 2011 03:20 Title: Chapter 14

"Now you will serve the Union.  Resistance is futile!"

Given the way Saratt as acted, as far as we can tell from his behavior on the ship, it seems clear that these are not the words Saratt would speak if he could.

But they very much are the words I think the Obsidian Order would speak.

I felt horrible for Sabal and his guilt-ridden dream.

The scene with Ronus trying to talk specifically to his symbiont was very fitting.  In a lot of ways, the symbiont could be similar to Saratt, and victimized and abused.  We saw that in the episode where Verad stole the Dax symbiont, in fact--and what was particularly horrible about that was how Verad was able to override Dax's morality.  Same with Joran.  It's pretty obvious to me why the crime of messing with a symbiont is so severe in Trill society.  Ronus undoubtedly sees a horrible perversion of the very thing that gives him as a unique, combined being, his life.

The conversation between Karama and Zamarran was very well done.  As usual, Zamarran shows his great maturity.  One wonders what would've happened to Sabal if he'd continued in the Order.  It's not a pretty thought, no matter how you approach it.

Author's Response:

I hoped that it was obvious that there was a lot wrong with the "reality" of Sabal's dream and from some point the readers knew it was not real, even though Sabal still didn't.

I think that the Trill society puts a lot of attention to successful integration of a host and a symbiont, but there's very little about what symbionts might want. How do they inform their hosts about things they don't like? Do they even have such a chance? I think Asu will be more sensitive to that subject now.

I actually have a very good idea what Sabal would be like if he stayed in the Obsidian Order. But I say no more about that ;)

Reviewer: jespah Signed [Report This]
Date: 09 Nov 2011 23:37 Title: Chapter 14

The dream about Saratt is very effective - of course Sabal would be experiencing what is essentially Survivors' Guilt.

I also like Av'Roo struggling with her infatuation.


Author's Response:

Exactly--Sabal feels guilty, even if he doesn't fully realise that.

Well, Av'Roo is fascinated by Brenok's singing and she clearly likes it a lot :)

Thanks for reviewing so far :D

Reviewer: jespah Signed [Report This]
Date: 09 Nov 2011 23:36 Title: Chapter 13

One thing I noticed is that the first paragraph is a little awkward. I realize you wanted to establish who beamed in, and without just taking attendance. Might I suggest starting with just the number of people? Maybe something like, "There were eight people in the debriefing - five were from the Karamazov." And then start naming names as people begin talking. Visuals like this can be difficult, and I'm not faulting you - accounting for a large group is not easy.

The exchange between Brenok and Av'Roo is interesting - a hint of flirting, is it?

The view of Saratt from before was truly heartbreaking.

Author's Response:

I'm not sure Av'Roo or Brenok knew what their conversation was exactly ;)

Reviewer: jespah Signed [Report This]
Date: 09 Nov 2011 23:34 Title: Chapter 12

The attempting of a mind meld makes sense here, and the fact that it does not work helps to nicely amp up the tension even more.

Reviewer: jespah Signed [Report This]
Date: 09 Nov 2011 23:33 Title: Chapter 11

I found the exchange between Kapoor and O'Riordan to be odd (personally, I would not have added the "bed" statement - it's none of O'Riordan's business and, to me, it didn't make sense that even an overly defensive Kapoor would be volunteering that).

For Brenok to come clean about his medial limitations is very meaningful, and a terrific expression of trust.

Author's Response:

It took a lot to admit to Brenok's condition and "weakness." But he decided that there are more important things to deal with than his medical problems. He doesn't know, but it let th'Arshar see some matters in a different light.

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