Penname: Gul Rejal [Contact]
Real name: Anni
Member Since: 31 Aug 2010
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Reviews by Gul Rejal
Summary: Past Featured Story

2384: As the Alpha and Beta Quadrants continue to recover from the Dominon War, Starfleet moves ahead with the launch of a very special ship, the USS Pearl. Based on the unique design of the Enterprise-C, the Pearl is assigned to Captain Henry "Hank" Harrison and dispatched to a colony on the outskirts of the Federation, New Haven, to investigate a suspected Maquis plot.

What Hank and his crew discover is something far more dangerous ... and destructive.


Star Trek Chronicles Book I cover

Chapters: 30    Table of Contents
Categories: Next Generation, Expanded Universes
Characters: Ensemble Cast - USS Pearl, Harrison, Hank
Genre: Mystery
Warnings: Violence
Series: Star Trek Chronicles
Completed: Yes    Word count: 79408    Read Count: 79955
[Report This] Published: 29 Jan 2009 Updated: 23 May 2009
Reviewer: Gul Rejal Signed Liked
Date: 21 May 2011 Title: Chapter 9: Chapter 9

Yay! One of my favourite Cardassians! :D Shame that just for such a short moment.

If Maxwell is really responsible for this massacre (I can't find another word for slaughtering so many people) and the Enterprise sabotage--then he has really gone insane.

Still, it's possible that it's not his doing. Or not only his doing.

The nameless Gul Aggressive also adds more questions...Seemed like it's not only Starfleet's speciality to have two ship commanders "disagree," to put it mildly.

Reviewer: Gul Rejal Signed Liked
Date: 27 May 2011 Title: Chapter 30: Chapter 30

I'm already half-way through Book II, but still didn't leave my final comment here. So here it is :)

A very interesting, mysterious and engaging plot! You have me guessing and the only thing I get is more questions and no answers.

Hank certainly isn't just another regular captain; I like him a lot. Nick would be my other favourite character.

However, I find the crew--and generally Starfleet/Federation members--very monotonous. Not only almost all are human, but also all are Americans (with one expection of a Brit, who still belongs to the Anglo-Saxon company). Humanity is more diverse than that, especially since humanity doesn't even live on one planet at the time of the story. Even Bethany, being half-Andorian, is just another American.

I would welcome more diversity, both a mix of different Federation species and different nations of Earth.

Other than that, I really love the story and as I wrote in the beginning--I'm already half-through Book II :D

A Weaver of Lives by Nerys Ghemor    Rated: K    Liked  Reviews (9
Summary: Past Featured StoryIn 2376, Cardassian ambassador and freelance journalist Natima Lang reflects in the new op-ed column of the Cardăsa Star-Sentinel on the life and influence of late dissident Tekeny Ghemor. Through the words of Ghemor's family, friends, and colleagues, she reveals the man to Cardassia as he truly was, not as the Obsidian Order would have it...
Chapters: 1    Table of Contents
Categories: Expanded Universes
Characters: None
Genre: None
Warnings: None
Series: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions
Completed: Yes    Word count: 3125    Read Count: 2142
[Report This] Published: 29 Jan 2009 Updated: 29 Jan 2009
Reviewer: Gul Rejal Signed
Date: 20 Sep 2010 Title: Chapter 1: A Weaver of Lives

We've seen Tekeny Ghemor in only two episodes (unfortunately), but I think this article by Lang describes him perfectly. I can imagine all those things without any problems; the tone of his voice when he welcomes every and each person coming to work each morning, being there for Kira when she woke up after the surgery, and caring for riyăk's family tragedy.

It was very touching, and very warm description.

Not all Cardassians were as the system tried to shape them, unfortunately those, who remained themselves in spite of all, were hunted by that system.

And still - there were Cardassians, who appreciated that value of being simply nice and a people's person, so maybe not all of them are so bad and there are many more decent ones.

I really enjoyed the story. Now if you excuse me, I need to get tissues to wipe my eyes.

Author's Response:

I think there were definitely Cardassians who remembered the value of simple kindness.  At first I was surprised that a man like Tekeny could ever have risen to the rank he did...but I think it was a combination of doing his job well, and just being nice to people.  After all, when you're nice, people will often work harder and better for you than they would otherwise.  That shouldn't be your main reason for being nice, but it sure is a great side effect. ;-)

That Tekeny loved a Bajoran, even after he realized it wasn't his daughter, said it all about what a big heart he must have had.  (And when he first comes back onto DS9 in "Ties of Blood and Water," he looks SO huggable! :-D )  I wish we could have seen more of him...Kira's reaction when he came back told me there HAD to be more to the story.

Thank you for reading! :-)

Captives' Ransom by Nerys Ghemor    Rated: K    Liked  Reviews (3

Aboard the Enterprise-D, Ensign Sam Lavelle prepares his heart for the Christmas season...and learns a lesson from his best friend, a Cardassian refugee who knows what it is to watch and wait...

(December 2008 TrekBBS Writing Contest winning entry)

Chapters: 1    Table of Contents
Categories: Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Alternate Universes
Characters: Lavelle, Sam (SigCat), Mendral, Hirhul (SigCat)
Genre: None
Warnings: None
Series: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--Catacombs of Oralius
Completed: Yes    Word count: 2467    Read Count: 1542
[Report This] Published: 29 Jan 2009 Updated: 29 Jan 2009
Reviewer: Gul Rejal Signed Liked
Date: 11 Nov 2010 Title: Chapter 1: Captives' Ransom

Sometimes a different perspective can draw our attention to things we never thought to look at. And obvious is not so obvious in the new light.

A very touching story, filled with many different emotions; starting with light-hearted snow scene and ending with a meaningful message. And all that packed into a set of two close friends. I like stories that include strong bonds of friendship.

And the story itself brought back wonderful memories of one of my Christmas :)

Author's Response:

Awwwww!  I'm so glad that I could bring back good memories!!  I love hearing things like that. :-)  I'll have to find it on Ad Astra, but there's a thread somewhere where I posted pictures of the church (which really helped me get that feeling of memories and history).  If I can't find that thread, I'll e-mail them tonight.

For me, Christmas is something that I think has lost meaning in our culture, and it's sad.  People don't remember that all of it took place in an occupied nation.  We hear the mentions of the Romans, but it's hard for people (at least in my country where we haven't had that experience since the Revolutionary War) to really understand what that means to be oppressed, and the significance that brings to the story.  People think Christmas is just about getting big, expensive gifts.  And I think that has gotten so, so out of proportion.  It's supposed to be about love and gratitude for blessings--and in the belief of those like myself and AU Sam Lavelle, being set free.  To which giving is intended to be the response, not a simple desire to get.

I'm glad you liked the friendship.  They're different from each other, but in so many ways, the same. :-)

The Thirteenth Order by Nerys Ghemor    Rated: T    Liked  Reviews (66

2375: The height of the Dominion War. The Dominion has promised to shower glories upon Cardassia the likes of which it has never known--but the reality is another thing entirely. Four Cardassian guls have had enough of the Dominion's false promises, and are ready to put their complaints into action.

And on the desolate rock of AR-558, a Starfleet soldier fights for his life and is taken captive by Cardassians. But something strange is happening behind enemy lines that he never would have believed...

Chapters: 20    Table of Contents
Categories: Deep Space Nine, Expanded Universes
Characters: Ensemble Cast - Sigils and Unions
Genre: Action/Adventure
Warnings: Adult Language, Violence
Series: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions
Completed: No    Word count: 87315    Read Count: 62985
[Report This] Published: 30 Jan 2009 Updated: 31 Aug 2011
Reviewer: Gul Rejal Signed Liked
Date: 29 Sep 2010 Title: Chapter 1: Prologue

Gul Macet clearly has no love for the Dominion and that Vorta on his ship, and while he can't express it openly, he found that way of disrespectful distorting her name to irritate her. It's also very clear he is not a fan of pre-Dominion Central Command government.

Arawil is as adorable as a slug: slimy, and disgusting. Macet is a man of patience - to stand Picard's patronising behaviour years before and now Arawil and her Vorta-talk?

Folani seemed to enjoy torturing the young Cardassian, although I am not sure that this particular man was guilty of any Bajoran crime. Her hatred is targetted at every Cardassian, not only those, who hurt her planet and her people. I pittied the poor guy. Fight is a fight, one must kill or be killed, but is cruelty really necessary? Doesn't she become too much like those she hates?

Spirodopoulos appeared almost glad that he can finally fight someone, who feels emotions and isn't just programed to fight, like a robot. You can use someone's emotions against them, their fear, their fury (angry people don't think, they just react).

Author's Response:

Yes, he is not a fan of either government!  He hates the Dominion even more, but he thinks Central Command could be pretty foolish, too.

I agree that patience is one of Macet's defining traits.  He can certainly outlast an enemy!

As for Folani...this might be the first Cardassian she's seen since the Occupation.  Her behavior was definitely disturbing, for sure.

And yes, I think Spirodopoulos was glad for the fact that the Cardassians aren't engineered killing machines.  But more than being able to take advantage of that...I think there may also be an element of finally having a chance to fight man-to-man, if that makes sense.

Reviewer: Gul Rejal Signed Liked
Date: 30 Sep 2010 Title: Chapter 2: Chapter One

And so Spirodopoulos started wondering. The Cardassian has Dukat's face, Dukat's voice, keeps him captive, but there is something different about him, isn't there? There is something behind that facade, that "Cardassian" facade. Cardassians are this and that. "Everyone" knows it.

So what is wrong with this picture? Or rather: what is wrong behind this picture? Since when staring at Bajorans (rather glaring, no doubt) is wrong for a "good Cardassian"?

Spirodopoulos expected a stereotypical case of being captured by Cardassians; he had heard enough stories and legends to have an opinion. However the reality didn't live to those stories and now he knows not what to expect. Is it good or bad for him and his comrades?


I'm not sure Rhos knew exactly what she had agreed to, but even if it's worse than she expected, she's bravely enduring it. The Cardassian sacrifice at it's best :)

Hopefully she has enough strength to stand it to the end.

Author's Response:

I do think there is good reason for the things Spirodopoulos has heard.  He has probably even received training that is based on what has happened to people who were captured by Cardassians.

So it makes no sense to him when <i>nothing</i> happens, other than his staying confined.  The unexpected worries him--the dissonance.

BTW, this is the speech I was referring to by Reagan, about the loss of the <i>Challenger</i>.  Reagan had a very warm way of speaking, especially on more "personal" matters like this:   Ignore all of the political comments people left...I think they aren't paying attention to the kind of speech this was (completely non-political).

And yes, Rhos is making a BIG sacrifice.

Reviewer: Gul Rejal Signed Liked
Date: 01 Oct 2010 Title: Chapter 3: Chapter Two

Owwww, the relation between Berat and Macet is so close, so full of trust. It was wonderful to observe their conversation, something so opened and honest, surely not an often sight in the Union. In my universe the fact that they use their given names would be very significant and seems like it is the case here too.

That trust lets them ask questions no-one would dare to ask and answer them truthfully without worry. Their care for fellow officers, their comrades is touching and telling.

I hadn't realised that Yejain was especially chosen by Tekeny Ghemor to be Berat's aide. Now, knowing a bit of what kind of man Yejain is (from the Natima Lang's article), I am happy that Berat has someone, who he can immensely trust and who is such a decent man.

Now, Spirodopoulos still expects to be sent to hell. He already noticed that there is something different about Macet and that impression only strengthens, but he doesn't expect whole premise to be any different. One good Cardassian doesn't make a POW camp a vacation resort.

And about the "reflex". Was it about zh'Tessel, who thanked, or the Cardassian woman, who helped? Or both? Wouldn't the Andorian thank someone, who helped her, because that someone was a Cardassian /a capturer; or wouldn't the Cardassian help a prisoner, because it was a prisoner and can break her legs for all the Cardassian cared?

Author's Response:

The two of them are indeed very close friends, and the fact that they use each other's given names does mean a lot.  That is something they would only ever do in private, though...they would not use each other's first names if anybody else could see: Berat because it would appear disrespectful of Macet's age, and Macet because it would make it look like he didn't take the younger gul seriously.

Yejain was indeed specially chosen for the position.  In fact, right now (a few chapters ahead of what's been posted), I am writing from Yejain's perspective and he's remembering what it was like when that happened.

You're very right that Spirodopoulos expects to be sent to hell, and he's very much on guard against whatever could happen in there, regardless of what Macet has said or done.

As for the "reflex," Spirodopoulos thinks it was the Cardassian woman who helped, mainly.  He believes that for a Cardassian, another species is automatically a lower form of life and would not deserve the same kind of consideration as a fellow Cardassian (and that prisoners are treated that way, too).  As for zh'Thessel, she doesn't like Cardassians at all, but I think she's deliberately refusing to be rude.

Reviewer: Gul Rejal Signed Liked
Date: 05 Oct 2010 Title: Chapter 4: Chapter Three

Gul Macet is as loyal to his crew as they are to him, no doubt. He cares for each and every one of them, which is a very good and important quality in any commanding officer. They are not expendable cannon-fodder for him, they are his people, his officers and his troops and he is reponsible for them. He respects them. And they answer with respect, loyalty and trust.

And Rhos's comment on Damar? Oh, my. She's no fan of the Legate's, but such words? Macet is really lenient, leaving it practically without a reproachful comment. Stress or no stress, I think he should have a talk with her, in private. She shouldn't express such disrespectful opinions of high rankings officials, no matter what she thought of them and certainly not in public! Such behaviour could negatively influence crew moral, which probably isn't at its best right now anyway.

I like the crew's Cardassian spirit and readiness to sacrifice their lives to free their home. "Cardassianness" at its best :)

Author's Response:

He definitely cares about his crew...that's for sure.

The situation with crew morale is interesting.  While it may sound crazy, I actually think that crew morale right now is far higher than it's been since the Dominion took over--they're thrilled to hear the news that after all their preparations to fight back against the Dominion, they're really going to get to do something!  They are now fighting for something that they can really believe in, and I think that makes a huge difference.

Macet did take a gamble here.  I think that he felt what would be MOST damaging to crew morale is if he just told her to shut up, and he did not address the suspicions they ALL had about Damar, and whether or not by rebelling they were going into a trap.  If he was evasive after this "bomb" was thrown, he thought that they won't see "Rhos is insubordinate," they would see "Macet and possibly others are playing a dangerous game with our lives."  However, while I didn't state it outright, it was my intention to imply that there was indeed a very stern private conversation about those remarks.  That's what I meant with "dealing with Rhos’ borderline-insubordinate attitude later."  I expect he told her that while he chose to let it go this once, there will be no more exceptions and any further comments like that will be dealt with severely.

Reviewer: Gul Rejal Signed Liked
Date: 06 Oct 2010 Title: Chapter 5: Chapter Four

"Oh-dark-hundred hours" :) I love this one!

And I like that Spirodopoulos didn't lose his sense of humour, a bit morbid and sarcastic, but it's still there in spite of the situation.

He has a lot to think about, doesn't he? He still doesn't trust them, but he can clearly see there is something different about this camp and those four guls. Maybe they feed him with lies and want to use their prisoners as tools, but maybe... maybe there really is something in what they say.

Knowing, who those guls are, especially the one, who remained unnamed, lets me understand better what they represent and what kind of impression they could make on Spirodopoulos.

Author's Response:

That's a common saying in the US military...I'm sure Spirodopoulos picked it up at the Academy. ;-)

And yes, Spirodopoulos' sense of humor can be a bit sarcastic.

This is a very, very tough decision for Spirodopoulos to have to make.  It doesn't even matter that Spirodopoulos thinks that sometimes Starfleet/Federation leadership makes foolish decisions.  "Even" a Starfleet officer doesn't want to be a traitor.

Reviewer: Gul Rejal Signed Liked
Date: 08 Oct 2010 Title: Chapter 6: Chapter Five

It was the first thing I had thought about Folani's victim back on AR-558 - he was most likely too young to be a part of the occupation. But for her it didn't matter, she just wanted him to suffer. And die.

Oh, no, Folani didn't want to use the "s" word with the cutlery in it, did she?

Macet's reaction was understandable for the "alleged' word, but I wonder if the young officer shouldn't be rather educated, instead of punished. She believed what she had be told/taught and she didn't have to necessarily know that her words were offencive and wrong. She had been lied to all her life and in a totalitarian system not many have a chance to know the truth and/or be able to tell it apart from propaganda and official stand of the government.

Folani got her speech too, but I can understand her. I would have problems with putting on an SS uniform too. And I have no idea if any Spirodopoulos would be able to make me do it, if I locked myself in refusal.

Author's Response:

Folani didn't pay any attention to the fact that her victim couldn't have been responsible for the Occupation.  All she saw was...well, a "spoonhead."  Which was indeed the word she was about to use. :-(

As to Macet...there are a number of reasons he reacted so harshly.  Before the Dominion takeover, the Cardassian government had issued a few apologies for certain things done during the Occupation.  Since the government made these official admissions (keeping prisoners on one of the worlds of the Cardassia system after the withdrawal, and another one when they signed the treaty with Bajor), Trughal was essentially denying something Cardassia's own government had said.  And unlike the moment where Macet made an exception on the bridge, here in front of the Starfleet officers, he wasn't about to.  We know he's been willing in the past to publicly punish his soldiers in order to make an example of them when they're stuck in Obsidian Order or other unacceptable ways.  And he especially wants to make an example of Trughal because he doesn't want his people getting the idea that they'll be allowed to mistreat the Starfleet officers without severe consequences--no matter what the circumstances.

But there's also a personal motivation that even if we ignored all these factors, and thought that maybe there would be reason to educate instead of punish Trughal--remember that Macet knows a LOT about the atrocities because of his hated cousin, Gul Skrain Dukat.  Basically, his cousin was in some ways like Hitler...his cousin was the source of those atrocities.  He has a LOT of strong personal feelings about this--anger, disgust, outrage, and though he keeps it contained, I truly think he hates his cousin.  It didn't put him in any mood to be forgiving, that's for sure.

So even though there was an alternative, I think there's reason enough that this character would not take it.

As for the thing with the uniform...that's why Spirodopoulos insisted AFTER Trughal was gone that Folani and any other person who did not feel they could wear a Cardassian uniform could refuse.  He wasn't going to have Folani throwing out racist words, but he also felt that her refusal was understandable.  Spirodopoulos would not make you do it.  Basically, his complaint against Folani was that she should have handled it without resorting to racist language.

Now, I tend to think of the Cardassian uniform as more like that of the Wehrmacht than the SS, but that is still something that would be objectionable to Folani and some others.

Reviewer: Gul Rejal Signed Liked
Date: 10 Oct 2010 Title: Chapter 7: Chapter Six

"But... but... but... but..." Poor Iymender. Bad Va'Kust, bad! To terrorise the poor guy! And so Spirodopoulos has learnt that the Cardassians have familiar sense of humour, maybe more cruel (;)), but they do!

It was such an important moment for them all, and still not silly pompous, but natural and smooth.

"Guinness meets maple syrup!" Ahahahahahaha!

This is my favourite chapter. It was when I had read it the first time and it still is. Seriousness mixing with humour, big plans with little gestures. They attempt to build a bridge, which would connect them and let them meet in the middle of it; no one has to be more important than the other. They are equal, even Folani seems to understand it. And Speros too.

Gul Berat! The first deep glance into him, what he is like, why he is different - and I don't mean only his physical condition, but his open personality; his readiness to forgive, to remember, but forgive; his honesty; his open-mindedness.

Did Spirodopoulos actually hear his name before? I remembered that Berat told him that at the end of their conversation, so I had been paying attention if the Greek was actually told the young gul's name. He wasn't "on-screen". And in this chapter seems like he didn't "forget", but "didn't catch". Cardassians should learn to introduce people properly ;)

Author's Response:

I think that for whatever reason, Spirodopoulos didn't hear it or didn't remember it.  When he first met Berat he had a LOT going through his mind.  But I'd actually hidden his name so that if anybody were to read my stories who remembered Betrayal, it would come as a surprise to see who he is.

Gul Berat's still all Cardassian (at least I hope so), but there's no doubt he's a very unusual person.

As for Va'Kust and his humor...well, some of that is just Va'Kust's personality.  He has a very dry sense of humor, so it's easy for him to string people along, so to speak.

I'm really glad you like this means a lot.

Reviewer: Gul Rejal Signed Liked
Date: 10 Oct 2010 Title: Chapter 8: Chapter Seven

I laughed out loud for a long moment at the "habit" Sporodopoulos shared with Picard :D

So, the real work starts and the test of how well both groups can work together begins. Folani and Speros at one table, and still not jumping to each other throats - I call that a success. Daro seems to be an inhibitor - he's calm, composed, and respected by the gul, who is most difficult to handle.

Author's Response:

I'm glad you liked that part! ;-)

Daro definitely is a calming influence.  A lot has to do with the things that happened in his past, and some parts of Speros' character that the world doesn't see.

Reviewer: Gul Rejal Signed Liked
Date: 12 Oct 2010 Title: Chapter 9: Chapter Eight

Gul Berat had to make a very difficult choice and it hunts him, doesn't it? Even if it couldn't have been done differently, he still hopes there was another way.

Ewwww, Gruner is more that disgusting, he is... no, there is not a sufficient word in any vocabulary. That description of him stroking his ridges, yuck, it made me shiver!

A vision of Iymender on the floor biting his stylus on the other hand - adorable :) What a shame he and Sorabec won't have a chance to see where their possible friendship would take them. She deserved better than to be shot by that bag of filth.

Author's Response:

It definitely haunts Berat, and he wishes it hadn't been like that.  His quick improvisation did save lives, at great risk to himself--but it doesn't make him feel much better.

And yes, writing Gruner was just awful.  It was even worse when someone decided to interpret that as desirable in some fashion...needless to say, I don't regret chewing that person out.  And if you remember that language exercise I sent you...remember when I said you get to decide whether he deserves to have his gender fixed in those sentences.  Think we should keep his sentence in the feminine? :evil grin:

I'm glad you liked Iymender, though!  He's a very unusual individual, and as a Cardassian I imagine that could be difficult for him without support from the right kind of commander.

Reviewer: Gul Rejal Signed Liked
Date: 14 Oct 2010 Title: Chapter 10: Chapter Nine

Speros with his face in the mud. If not the terrible situation that surrounded it, I'd call it a good lesson of humility ;) And... it reminds me a particular scene from War and Peace by Tolstoy ;)

Daro is a brave man; what he did could have been the last thing done in his life, his final sacrifice for Cardassia. But it didn't stop him.

I cetrainly don't want to be that guy who is now Speros's, oh, no!

That scene with Folani at the end: I know it's not funny, but somehow I couldn't stop smiling. The Cardassian seemed very proud of herself for almost biting Folani's fingers off.

So, we know more about Glinn Daro. Not about his past itself, but about what this past means to him and to others too. He has that dignity, a quiet sort of dignity, which he wears like an armour, but would probably deny having it if anyone asked. I think it's the combination of his quietness and this great dignity is what wins others' hearts. He is not a hero in his own eyes, but that makes him more a hero in theirs. And a traitor in eyes of those who are too stupid to think independently.

Author's Response:

Haven't read War and Peace yet, though I know I really ought to.

The woman who tried to bite Folani's fingers...I kind of think got kind of crazed by the battle and then seeing a Bajoran when she woke up.  I don't think she was in her right mind.

I think that Daro doesn't give a lot of thought to the influence he has in certain quarters--it took a Bajoran to remind him that he could use it here.  In a lot of ways, I think he could get along very well with AU Dukat, though I think Daro thinks a bit more with his head and AU Dukat thinks a bit more with his heart.  (Doesn't mean they each don't have what the other one is strongest in, though.)

And you are so right.  SO right about being Speros' prisoner.  It's not good.

Reviewer: Gul Rejal Signed
Date: 15 Oct 2010 Title: Chapter 11: Chapter Ten

It was disturbing to read how Speros killed in cold blood those Cardassians, but when I reached the point when Macet's group discovers Vergal's betrayal my first thought was "where is Speros when you need him?"

Berat not only had to make a difficult choice at Septimus III, he knows he might have to face it again. Never-ending sacrifice of one's aching heart.

Iymender clearly is not a warrior, but I'm sure the "pocket gul" could take all "three" Duras Sisters with her bare hands.

A good chapter. Not everything goes as planned, just like in the real life.

Author's Response:

Speros' actions were disturbing for me to write as well.  I do think he went too writing it isn't an endorsement of what he did.  He represents one extreme--the Federation represents the other extreme, and neither one works.

As to the betrayal--thank goodness these Cardassians weren't accustomed to dealing with other species' hearing!

And yes...Berat knows that if the mission fails, he will have to abandon everybody on the ground and that he will be the commander of the entire force.

As for Rebek, I'm sure that her small size means there is a point where she would be outmatched in hand-to-hand combat.  Her skill with a weapon means that getting that close to her is NOT easy, though.

As for Iymender, you are SO right.  He is not a warrior, and though he tried, and I know he had to go through the same training everyone else did, I think it was probably a struggle for him and I imagine that he just barely passed his physical training requirements.  But the Guard accepted him because his programming skill was one that the state needed.

Reviewer: Gul Rejal Signed Liked
Date: 16 Oct 2010 Title: Chapter 12: Chapter Eleven

Oh, I hate this chapter. I hate it because of Ngaer ;(

Spirodopoulos just passed his exam for the full commander. With Speros's "help", but he passed it. And passed it "more" than any other commander, because he "exam" was no simulation and he knew it.

It's good to see that some Cardassians joined them; they are probably happy to finally serve Cardassia, not the Dominion. It's not good that there still are cracks in the Thirteenth Order.

I liked the narration of the Macet's group fight. It was so torn and abrupt, perfectly showing the abruptness of the fight.

Yeah, Gruner got what he deserved!

Author's Response:

It was a very tough chapter to write, because I really didn't want to kill her, but when I saw where that polaron cannon was placed, I knew that nobody else would be able to get that kind of shot off.

When I originally wrote it, I actually didn't remember the command test because it has been so long since I've watched TNG.  But I definitely knew it was an important moment for Spirodopoulos.  As for Speros, I'd be curious to know what you think that look was about, at the end of their section.  And what about Daro and the role he is playing?

It's hard to imagine how there wouldn't be some cracks in the Thirteenth Order, with its being so new.  Of course, to Gul Macet, this was a VERY inappropriate time for that kind of behavior, which is why he nipped it in the bud immediately.

And I'm glad you liked the fight--and Gruner's demise! :-)

Reviewer: Gul Rejal Signed Liked
Date: 17 Oct 2010 Title: Chapter 13: Chapter Twelve

I love the idea of the sign language. It makes perfect sense on a battlefield: soldiers can communicate without fear of being overheard by their enemy.

And this was fast paced chapter for sure! Things happening so fast and so many at the same time; great risks taken with only hope of success. The Thirteenth Order is going to lose many good people, too many, but they know their sacrifices are necessary for greater cause.


Author's Response:

I also thought that a species that doesn't hear as well as humans might see sign language differently, too.  But what Macet allowed them to see is not something ordinarily shown to outsiders in this universe.

This part of the battle was a real experiment for me, with so many different things going on.  I'm glad you liked it. :-)

Reviewer: Gul Rejal Signed Liked
Date: 17 Oct 2010 Title: Chapter 14: Chapter Thirteen

I couldn't help but smile thinking of Iymender's head, popping out of the shuttle with that grin. He's so cute :D Berat should be jealous ;)

The Cardassians take great risk trusting new officers on their way. They can't know for sure if those people aren't just pretending to rebel to betray them later. It wouldn't be the first time. But they have to take that risk, don't they? They can't just shoot everyone on their way, not their own people, who could join them and make the Thirteenth Order stronger.

It's sad they can't simply assume all Cardassians on the way are on their side. That would be a case in a perfect world, but this one is far from perfect, unfortunately.


Author's Response:

Iymender got caught in an embarrassing situation by an attractive woman.  And one that would be his superior. ;-)  I don't think Berat would be jealous, though. ;-)

It's definitely a risk.  A few of them have proven themselves with their deeds, but yes, there could certainly be a betrayal.

Reviewer: Gul Rejal Signed Liked
Date: 17 Oct 2010 Title: Chapter 15: Chapter Fourteen

His hand maybe not as dextrous as they used to be, but his mind works with the famous Cardassian efficiency, which even a Jem'Hadar cannot not appreciate. Go, Gul Berat! :D

Gul Macet had to execute a difficult protocol and proved strength of his character by not forcing that on Spirodopoulos, or any other non-Cardassian. A very sad moment. Hiding it behind military talk, article numbers and bureaucracy didn't diminish the heaviness of the task. But the sacrifice for the Union goes before everything.

Author's Response:

Anyone who underestimates Gul Berat is going to get "taken to school" in a BIG way.

As for the Jem'Hadar, even with all of their programming, it sometimes seemed like they had a bit more in the way of personal honor than the Vorta.  So I felt like Volet'aval would notice Berat's skills.

As for what Macet did...that was one of the hardest things I had to write in this story so far.  It was even harder than writing Gul Speros mowing down all those prisoners.  You can bet he DOES feel the heaviness of his task.  And the other thing I did that I realize could be controversial...Article 58 is real--or at least it was real, and it was used in the real world to "justify" the same kinds of things that the Cardassian Union did to its people and others.  Having a person like Macet actually use Article 58 to deliver his sentence was HARD.  But I think that's the Cardassian mind: he felt like an awful tool to use, but it was the only one he felt was available to him, until a day when something else replaces it.

Reviewer: Gul Rejal Signed Liked
Date: 18 Oct 2010 Title: Chapter 18: Chapter Seventeen

I'll be lazy and repeat word by word what I have written on TrekBBS :)

Speros vs. Berat - it's interesting to watch how they have to cope with each other. Speros with his oh-so-Cardassian attitude, and Berat, with his patience. Sometimes I feel like he sadly smiles inside at Speros's aggression, a fatherly smile in a way, like a smart one forgives the silly/stubborn one. I don't know if what I try to say makes any sense, but that's how I feel.

Speros is the old type brass and Berat is everything but old type, and they -Speros actually - would have to cross the bridge some day and get closer to ones like Berat - or Macet - to soften the rigid approach to some matters; and some people, Cardassians and non-Cardassians.

Spirodopoulos is not a blind Federation citizen, who believes in its superior morality, superior right to do things and superior whatever whenever however. He can see that his Federation is not perfect and that there are Captains who make mistakes.

I wondered what he would tell Macet, but even if I suspected he wouldn't support Maxwell's and Picard's - especially Picard's, which are served to us with a pretence of correct and right - actions, I wouldn't have guessed that his opinion would be so harsh. "Maxwell was insane." He not only says that, he back that with arguments.

Maxwell could have brought a war on the Federation, but the Cardassians didn't react. I'm tired of people pointing out how bad Cardies are, they were arming, Maxwell wanted to protect the peace, blah, blah, blah.
Protect my a$$! He murdered hundreds of innocent people and Picard didn't stop him. You don't prevent a war shooting and murdering people, you start it this way. The Central Command didn't pick the bait, lucky for the Feds, and that tells me that they were not as evil, bloodthirsty warlords they are presented. Maxwell falls into that category and I'm sorry to see that Picard, and many others, seem not to see that.

Loyalty and support of a man, who took lives and risked destroying many more, is misguided [irony mode] even if he is a Federation captain [/irony mode].

I think that's good Macet and Spirodopoulos cleared that between them. That conversation was very important as now they both know where they stand, what to expect from each other and that's a good step to deepening their trust.

Author's Response:

Since I've already replied at TrekBBS, I will just say thank you! :-)

Reviewer: Gul Rejal Signed Liked
Date: 18 Oct 2010 Title: Chapter 16: Chapter Fifteen

What an irony that it is today that I re-read this chapter and Macet's words about naïveté and it was earlier today that another chapter on the same subject had been posted.

It's clear that what had happened back then on the Enterprise is still hunting him and still with him. And it didn't shape very flattering opinion of the Federation and its officers.

I like "almost familial affection" phrase :)

Spirodopoulos had a morning (?) of studies: discovering and interspecies study in the bathroom and a study of his own face. And his own soul. It's been only a few days, but so much had changed, such a different situation he was facing now, such different decisions he would have to make. It's not the same war for him any more.

Dr. Hetalc is nothing close to the infamous Moset. He cares for his patients, he cares for their lives and isn't happy that one healthy man wants to risk his health and maybe quality of life for some Vulcan mind hocus-pocus. And he hated losing T'Ruveh in the end, even though he knew he couldn't help her. 

Author's Response:

Having to stand there and watch all those lives be snuffed out, on an impersonal computer display, definitely haunted him.

And for Spirodopoulos to see this image of himself so changed really got his attention, that's for sure.

As for Dr. Hetalc, yes--he did NOT like the fact that he was expected to supervise that mind-meld.  Not because he was a bigot, but for exactly the reason you said: he thought it could harm Subek.

Reviewer: Gul Rejal Signed Liked
Date: 21 Oct 2010 Title: Chapter 17: Chapter Sixteen

I dreaded reading this chapter again because I knew it would squeeze the last tear out of my eyes; and it started right with the first part and Rashad who felt guilty because loss of Prashek was heavier for him than loss of Ngaer. While his suffering, mixed with guilt and fear of his own feeling is sad, I am glad to see that he can see beyond genetics and political empires. Prashek was a person for him, not only a Cardassian or a (former) enemy, he was a person who he could connect with and go fishing.

"Bow deep, that way you won’t be as far from the ground when the gul slaps you down" - precious advice, I shall remember that :)

I actually agree with Speros - in a way. The tradition of not showing Cardassian dead to aliens was maybe obsolete and lost its practical meaning long ago, but it was a tradition and one that didn't harm anyone. So why to break with it, if it doesn't bring any harm and especially if breaking it could make many traditionalists unhappy. Some traditions don't have to be abandoned only because they don't make sense any more.

I love that the Cardassians appreciated Ngaer's sacrifice even though she was not a Cardassian. I googled what a rahnoavis looked like and it was one beautiful animal.

The ceremony was very touching. Speros behaved, Folani lost her aggression - even they felt it was a special, important and sad moment when their differences had no meaning and would be out of place. A great although truly mournful chapter.

Author's Response:

I did not agree with Speros.  The tradition once came from a necessary instinct of their ancestors.  But now, it is a reminder of how "superior" Cardassians are to other races.  I think in that sense, it may not harm anyone directly, but it DOES foster racism.  As such, it is a symptom of sickness and should be addressed in that manner.

As for Rashad...guilt is a common feeling after a loss like that, when people find that they are grieving in some way that they don't think is "the right way."  In this case it had a political dimension as well.

I'm glad you felt the ceremony worked.  I am not sure all of the Cardassians would have appreciated Ngaer's sacrifice, but Daro convinced the guls that it was a good idea.  Speros had to be talked into it, and I think that had Daro and Macet not been pushing for it, it wouldn't have happened.

Maneater by Anna Amuse    Rated: K    Liked  Reviews (8
Summary: Some women change men like outfits. Some ships do the same.
Chapters: 1    Table of Contents
Categories: Original Series
Characters: Kirk, James T., Scott, Montgomery (Scotty)
Genre: General
Warnings: None
Series: Absolute Horizon
Completed: Yes    Word count: 2280    Read Count: 1922
[Report This] Published: 01 Feb 2009 Updated: 01 Feb 2009
Reviewer: Gul Rejal Signed
Date: 16 Nov 2011 Title: Chapter 1: Maneater

She's a dangerous lady, isn't she? Chews up engineers and captains and then moves on to next in line, while her prey's only wish is to be chewed again.

For Scotty, being loved back by his ship is award enough and he doesn't need any medals or papers to be happy and fully satisfied. Who knows, maybe the other engineers never experienced--really experienced--the addiction to their ships and don't know yet how fulfilling it could be.

A good story with a touch of a melancholic sadness.

Drunk by Lady Drace    Rated: T    Liked  Reviews (3
Summary: Garak and Bashir get drunk. Cute fluff ensues.
Chapters: 1    Table of Contents
Categories: Deep Space Nine
Characters: Bashir, Julian, Garak, Elim, Kira Nerys, Quark
Genre: Humor, Romance, Slash
Warnings: None
Series: None
Completed: Yes    Word count: 3886    Read Count: 2069
[Report This] Published: 04 Feb 2009 Updated: 04 Feb 2009
Reviewer: Gul Rejal Signed Liked
Date: 25 Sep 2011 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1

I was laughing out loud for most of the story. First at the thought of a drunk Cardassian, then at "prove it," which I could imagine so vividly and then all the way down till the end. Some game Garak chose! I can't help but wonder how far he hoped to go with it, but something tells me that quite far, considering that he hoped Julian wouldn't remember.

And now not only Bashir remembers, but also knows what it's about...thanks to Kira.

Author's Response:

I think Garak might have balked at going "all the way", but yes, given the chance, he probably would have gone quite far. As long as drunk!happy Bashir was going along with it, at least. :oP

And yes, it would be SO like Bashir to ask someone to prove they were drunk. If he'd had his medical tricorder with him, he no doubt would have scanned Garak to make sure. Hehe.

Thank you for reading and reviewing!

Hung Over by Lady Drace    Rated: M    Liked  Reviews (2
Summary: After the events of 'Drunk', doctor Bashir confronts Garak who is just being... Garak.
Chapters: 1    Table of Contents
Categories: Deep Space Nine
Characters: Bashir, Julian, Garak, Elim, Kira Nerys
Genre: Humor, Romance, Slash
Warnings: Adult Situations
Series: None
Completed: Yes    Word count: 3236    Read Count: 1803
[Report This] Published: 04 Feb 2009 Updated: 04 Feb 2009
Reviewer: Gul Rejal Signed
Date: 25 Sep 2011 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1

At first I thought that apart from physical hungover, it was also moral--for Bashir. That he felt violated and really bad with the though of Garak abusing him.

But somehow the ending changed my perception and suddenly being close--I mean, superclose--to Garak wasn't much of an issue for the good doctor.

I'd pay a fortune to see Kira's facial expression at the end ;)

Author's Response:

In my head Bashir was more likely reacting to the violation he should feel and his lack of disgust over it might have fuelled his outrage for a bit.

But thankfully, Bashir isn't stupid and despite Garak's teachings he doesn't look gift horses in the mouth. At least not too closely. ;o)

As for Kira's face? I imagine it would ahve been something like this:

Thank you for reading and reviewing!