Date: 08 Sep 2009 10:16 Title: Sacrifice
We shall not go quietly into the night...
That's what ran through my head while reading this. Also, that no child should watch their parents die-or vice vs. Truly one of the most tragic things that can happen in one's life. It was hard to get through this the first time-reading it again was equally painful. Well written, no doubt about that but painful to read.
It was hard for me to write it--this was actually how I was first introduced to AU Dukat, seeing the end of his and Ziyal's lives.
It's almost like that feeling at the end of Gladiator--you can almost imagine Tora with that same line as Comitus: "AM I NOT MERCIFUL?" But what comes after...in the ultimate end, I think AU Skrain and Ziyal Dukat go on to a much better place. And at least, if there is one other small blessing--they aren't separated long.
I don't know if you saw it in the Round Robin...but there's a reason I wrote Dukat's vision there the way that I did: Tora failed. If she thought that torturing them, desecrating the bodies, and leaving them in the middle of the desert of Revakian was going to disturb their spirits--oh, boy, was she EVER wrong. He didn't know why, then, in that vision, that he found himself in the Fireplains of Revakian, why that was the vision that was helping him transition from plane to plane and why he felt so peaceful there. All I can say is that what Tora did backfired. Writing that helped me feel a little better about this, I guess.
Date: 04 Sep 2009 17:40 Title: Sacrifice
I could've sworn I already reviewed this, but then I remembered we had discussed it in PM's over on the Trek BBS and not here. It's a beautiful story despite being tragic, or perhaps because of it. I'm with you in that I don't see this as a defeat. Death and defeat aren't synonymous.
Thanks so much for reviewing. :-)
It's a very, very sad story, because as Steff said, it's hard to see a deserving man give up his life, especially considering the Cardassian lifespan...he's not even 70. By 24th-century human standards, that's like dying at about 50, by our standards today, even younger--maybe even like dying before the age of 40. He should've had another century or more ahead of him, if he'd had the average lifespan.
But...in the very end, I can't even call it a tragedy in the classical sense because I think that he truly does get everything he's longed for, even though he suffered tremendously along the way.
And I am so very glad to see you agree with me that he is not defeated. :-)
Date: 24 Jun 2009 22:07 Title: Sacrifice
You know, now that I've had a chance to interact with him far more, this story is a real heartbreaker. I mean, it was powerful the first time I read it, but now? It feels like closing the book on such a deserving man's life, even though he holds true to his own inner flame right to the end, without him being given the proper goodbye in a warm, sunlit bed with all his loved ones nearby.
Mind, I wouldn't dream of saying it should be changed; I understand tragedy and that sometimes even the most deserving don't get their just rewards. But this hits so much harder now.
Thank you so much for reading this.
Oddly enough...this is actually the first thing I ever wrote with my AU Dukat. I really wish his ending could've been different. I wish he could've lived longer. And the irony is, his life is even shorter than the canon Dukat's...yet I think his short life meant SO much more than his canon version's ever did. (At least, before he ended up frozen in rock in the Bajoran Fire Caves.) And most of all, I wish Ziyal hadn't had to see her father die in her own last minutes. But sadly, I knew that with their respective physiologies and metabolisms as they were, that it could happen no other way.
It's always tough to read back on it. But at least he has found peace. To me--this isn't the ending chapter: it's my hope the reader will imagine him gaining the heaven he believed so strongly in. And aside from his cousin Akellen Macet, who will survive him, and the two colleagues who are almost like brothers (Marritza and Damar)...most all of his loved ones are already on the other side and have been there for 18 years. So even if they're not there on this side, as he dies...they're most definitely waiting to receive him.
Vedek Tora may have captured and killed him...but she never defeated him. And his justice...will come where she can never touch him.
And what they did with the bodies later, in "Captives' Ransom"...they made a mistake. They thought that would disturb his soul somehow by just dumping the bodies...but they made a mistake. Someone finds them and lays them to rest in a more proper manner. And someday, when the Occupation is over, I think they'll finally disclose the location and let people come to pay their respects.
But this story is why it meant so much to me in the Round Robin to write the vision AU Dukat has when he goes to the edge of heaven with Captain Riker: he doesn't know it yet, but the reason he feels so comforted and at peace at the Fireplains of Revakian, able to focus on traversing from life to afterlife, is that this will be his final resting place.
So they failed in that, too. They helped him in a spiritual battle (one, paradoxically, in his past!) rather than hindering him.
That was something I really needed, because man...it does bring tears to my eyes to think about how this happened.