Date: 16 Oct 2011 17:07 Title: Power Play
I can't even imagine choosing which of those two is worse: Garak or Dukat. For a second I got caught and sympathised with Dukat, who clearly cared for his father and what happened to him, but it all vanished with Dukat's final treatment of the Bajoran.
That's a side of Garak that we knew was in him, but were rarely shown it. It was so easy to wash him of his past in the show, because usually he wore a slimy smile on his face and talked riddles to Bashir and we didn't have many occasions to see what he was really capable of as a (former) Obsidian Order agent.
A powerful story that starts almost comically with Dukat strolling on the Promenade with torn pants and ends with torture and death. And two monsters walking off.
Date: 12 Aug 2009 20:22 Title: Power Play
I'm sitting here wondering what to say.That was chilling. And a 10.
Author's Response: Thank you very much! It took me to a disturbing head space, too. From the moment both Cardassians focused on the girl, I knew things were about to get a lot uglier.
Date: 05 Aug 2009 16:34 Title: Power Play
Wow. It's hard to tell who's more chilling here--Garak, or Dukat. I'd have to vote for Garak, personally, because however messed-up and twisted it is, there is SOME part of Dukat that seems to arise spontaneously, that isn't simply a killing machine. With Dukat, you always wish he could've been better. With Garak, the way you've written him, it's hard to want anything other than to see him dead.
On the "details" level, I really like how you write that section where Dukat realizes he has to listen to Garak to the exclusion of his other senses, to catch something closer to what he really means. I imagine the Cardassians very much that way as well, not relying fully on their hearing. I think they make very, very effective use of what they have, but it does require different techniques and approaches than what humans or other species with better hearing would do.
Author's Response: I'm hoping in time to give a slightly different perspective on Garak than what I was able to show in this, but yes, no doubt he is extremely dangerous and capable of setting aside any emotion necessary to accomplish what he wants to accomplish. Dukat was definitely his real target in this particular instance. The round may have gone to Garak, but the match is anything but over. (A sequel is already brewing despite efforts to resist.) I love the details you've put in your stories about Cardassian senses, particularly the purpose of the "spoon" and how it senses bioelectric fields. I started thinking about little ways Garak might give himself away without being aware of it (because he's not perfect by any stretch), and it made sense to me that because neither he nor Dukat have particularly acute hearing, he might not be able to hear the full nuance in his own voice. I've been spelunking, and when you turn your lights out and just sit for a while in pitch blackness, your hearing goes crazy acute. I figured the same would happen to Dukat, who was also already keyed up by everything that happened. Thanks for reading and the review! I'm glad you enjoyed the story. :)
Date: 03 Aug 2009 23:14 Title: Power Play
This is an unsettling tale on many levels, expertly rendered in vivid detail. The cold, calculating hate between these men is palpable, most especially after Dukat has to watch Garak work as he experiences what his father suffered at Garak's hands. These men, both ruthless in their own way, are as much victims of the Cardassian system as the Bajorans that suffer under their boot-heels. They've been twisted into something dark and obscene, all the while maneuvering for advantage over one another in the great game of chess that is the Occupation.
Phenomenal stuff, and a fantastic introduction to your work.
Author's Response: Thanks so much for taking the time to read and review! I, too, see the Cardassian people as victims of their totalitarian regime. Part of the tragedy of who they are stems from how great they seem that they could be. Many have said of Dukat that he seemed destined either for greatness or infamy, that there was no room for in-betweens. In a war such as occurred during the Occupation, there are truly no winners.
Date: 03 Aug 2009 22:23 Title: Power Play
Wow! Very powerful piece this. Two ego's and personalities clashing and have done so and as we know would continue to do so for a time yet. This was very vividly portrayed here. From get go it is a clear power play between the two men - even before the mergency - just thier greetings and interactions in the tailor shop. Deftly done.
You portrayed Garak as a complete monster almost for his cool approach and skilled hand at torture. Dukat comes off the better Cardassian here. Of course, when it came to these two Cardassians in particular the shades of grey were the most fascinating thing about them. That and the fact the two men also have a certain fascination with one another. You nailed both characters, their mannerisms, their speech and everything that they leave unsaid [often the most important element of these two - Garak especially]. It all works very effectively and is a convincing piece. Well done.
This would work perfectly as a piece for the Clashing Personalities challenge up and going at present. You should consider entering it for it.
Author's Response: Thank you very, very much for the generous review! Honestly, writing this piece was very nervewracking for me, precisely because I like both of these characters a great deal, and it was important to me to try to do both of them justice. I don't think the balance of power question ever fully got answered between these two, and I would have loved to see them get more air time together on the show. One day I will probably return to another Garak story for a different facet of his personality, but as he was played and from the things he said about himself during the show, I had no trouble whatsoever seeing him operating in this fashion. (Tarok Nor would have been quite a different tv show from DS9. :D )