Date: 10 Dec 2011 21:05 Title: Flying Apart
This had the feel of a WW2 escape story - whether allies tryiong to get out of a POW camp or perhaps more in keeping with say the persecuted Jewish trying to escape from the ghettos or prison camps.
I also really liked the unusual mode of escape - though being an escape pod the name was in the title. LOL! And is typical of AU Dukat his thoughts are completely on Ziyal and he takes the scarily risky gambit of sedating her but because he knows it is the better choice in the situation. An interesting response to the prompt and furthering of AU Dukat's (back)story.
When I was little, I read a LOT about World War II; that period of our history is burned into my brain. And I can definitely see what you mean about the similiarities, even though it wasn't 100% intended. Even the description of the pilot and his physical appearance seems to evoke that time frame.
I'm glad to know the mode of escape worked for you; I was rather unsure about that, or that it might seem cliched. Glad that was not the case.
One other thing I'd read in some World War II escape stories--something incredibly horrible--was of parents who actually killed their own infants because the child was going to cry and give away their location. Sedating Ziyal was really scary for AU Dukat, but with stories like that in the back of his head (though he could never kill Ziyal; rather, he'd choose to die with her), there was actually something even worse than sedation to think about.
Thank you for reading. :-)
Date: 08 Dec 2011 00:02 Title: Flying Apart
How very disturbing. And painful - that getting out may very well mean coming to grips with too many other horrors. And it's all done for little Ziyal, who doesn't even know it's happening.
A great, itchy, nervous-making read.
Thank you so much for reading. :-) I'm not sure how much of AU Dukat's backstory you've read before this, but he had enough horrors behind him. Ahead of him...well, if you read "The Guide," you'll see what's ahead of him. (It's a different POV, but you'll catch up with AU Dukat soon enough.)
Date: 07 Dec 2011 07:54 Title: Flying Apart
A very risky escape and so many things could have gone wrong. Even such a little thing as one of the masks damage could cause a lot of problems with their plans. It appears that the dissidents had done it many times and knew what to do, but there's always that unknown factor of accidents.
And the terrible situation of saving a life (two lives) at the cost of others. For Dukat it clearly was terrible and I wouldn't be surprised if he backed out of the whole operation and insist on saving his pilot's wife if not Ziyal. But his daughter was more important for him than anything and her life most precious. It didn't mean that he'd stop caring about the unknown woman's fate in the slave camp, but he decided to go on with the plan, even after learning what a sad decision had been made to allow this to happen.
He couldn't forget easily the harsh words the pilot had said about Ziyal, but I wonder if he later realised that he had done exactly the same thing. He did chastise himself for that, but his first reaction was ugly. Maybe it also was the pilot's first reaction and he later, too, regretted his words. It did seem that his attitude changed a bit and he was softening each time his eyes were on the bundle in Dukat's arms.
In the end they arrived at the planet and Dukat can enjoy the relative freedom (relative, because as long as the Bajorans aren't gone it's not real freedom), but very sad news await him there. He doesn't know yet how true his last thought was.
I'm not entirely sure how many times the dissidents had done this, but certainly they did seem to know what to do. I'm sure they have to avoid doing it too many times, because they can't have every ship coincidentally getting bombed in orbit of Prime.
You're very right: had Dukat not had a daughter, he probably would have backed out. I'm not 100% sure how his judgment would've been since he's off his meds at this point. (That said, without Ziyal, he probably would've attempted suicide again after the rape. :-( )
He does care about the woman in the slave camp, though, and I know he wants her to be rescued. He meant the angry things he said to the dissidents--that they should have at least ensured the pilot's wife was out of the camp and recuperating somewhere safer.
I suspect that at some point Dukat will regret snapping at the pilot to shut up about Ziyal, but with all the emotional turmoil he's going through and that he's about to face--and the fact that he is off his meds--my guess is it will take him some time to process that. AU Dukat is not a man who holds a grudge anywhere near as easily as Gul Dukat, but I know that an insult to family is the hardest thing for him to let go of.
I think that the pilot began to realize how Dukat cared for his daughter. How hard it was for Dukat to have to carry her drugged unconscious for the entire flight so that earlier in the flight she didn't give away their presence to the Bajoran crew or knock her mask off and take up oxygen they couldn't afford in there. Maybe the pilot wondered how he would've handled the situation in Dukat's shoes if he had been trying to get a child off of Bajor.
At least Dukat is "in his element" now, back in the desert. But if you read "The Guide," you'll see what happens after that. :-(