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Chapter Notes: Also recounts events and dialogue from the TNG episode "The Wounded".

It’s Not You I Hate

Reflections of Miles Edward O’Brien


Historian’s Note: The following is a log entry made a week after the resolution of Miles O’Brien’s trial on Cardassia Prime as depicted in “Tribunal” (DS9) late in the Earth year 2370.


"There is but one coward on Earth, and that is the coward that dare not know.” W.E.B. DuBois (1898)


Personal log, Stardate 47999.4: An experience like this would normally leave a man more cynical and more resentful of the people who put him through that ordeal. The Cardassians framed me for supplying weapons to the Maquis and then subjected me to one of their bloody show trials. The only reason I’m alive now is that I was let off the hook at the very last second. The Archon did a complete one-eighty as soon as Commander Sisko walked in with my former crewmate from the Rutledge, Raymond Boone. Or rather he was a Cardassian surgically altered to look like Raymond Boone.

The whole experience has left me considering my own prejudices against the Cardassians, especially because conservator and the Archon brought it up. “The bloody Cardies can’t be trusted” was how Makbar put it. I would say the most challenging thing about overcoming ones prejudices is realizing you have them in the first place. It goes back to when Captain Maxwell was going after the Cardassians on his own and those three Cardassians had come aboard the Enterprise as a show of good faith. I could almost swear that Gul Macet fella looked a lot like Gul Dukat.

During the first mission briefing, I got the sense that others in that room— Captain Picard, Commander Riker, LaForge-- seemed rather apprehensive. I asked Keiko at breakfast the next day why anyone would still be uneasy even after the war was over. She reminded me of my own war experiences, saying how that would take its toll on people. I would later recount my experiences on Setlik Three to Glinn Daro.

“Cardassians were advancing on us, moving through the streets, destroying, killing. I was with a group of women and children when two Cardassian soldiers burst in. I stunned one of them. The other jumped me. We struggled. One of the women threw me a phaser, and I fired. The phaser was set at maximum. The man just incinerated, there before my eyes. I'd never killed anything before. When I was a kid, I'd worry about swatting a mosquito. It's not you I hate, Cardassian. I hate what I became because of you.

That was one incident that still haunts me to this day. My parents told me growing up that humanity had improved beyond that level of barbarism. I was like all those young soldiers in those old war stories. They come out of a violent and brutal war completely changed. I was young and na´ve back then, much like Julian was when he first came aboard DS9. I now hope to God, he doesn’t end up reading this log. I was looking for something to prove. I would act without thinking.

Despite that recollection and my own uneasiness when the glinns followed me into the turbolift, I insisted I had no problem with the Cardassians. Maybe, more than anything, I was trying like hell to convince myself. Captain Picard had articulated it well when he gave his appraisal of Maxwell’s motives.

"I think when one has been angry for a very long time, one gets used to it. And it becomes comfortable, like old leather. And, finally, it becomes so familiar that one can't ever remember feeling any other way."

I was still very certain that the Cardassians were up to something. And that Captain Maxwell couldn’t have been going off on vengeful quest without provocation. My instincts were dead on when Captain Picard confronted him. In his own words, the peace treaty was just a ruse. But those kinds of vigilante strikes are what kept the wars going for that long. And the Maquis and Cardassians in the Demilitarized Zone are engaged in more of the same. I’m no diplomat, but I do have to believe many in the Cardassian government are serious about peace. I’ve learned from experience, though, that Cardassians can be a tricky bunch. That’s what led to the Occupation of Bajor.

Speaking of which, it wasn’t until I first came to Deep Space 9 that I realized my own prejudices went beyond ordinary legitimate suspicion.

Chapter End Notes: Stay tuned for Chapter 2 "Blending Opposites" where O'Brien reflects on his time on Deep Space Nine, especially in the episode "Cardassians".

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