After three days of travel, they were there. His Uncle Peter being an architect, and Jax having a keen eye for art himself, he recognized good architecture when he saw it. He also recognized the style instantly: it was distinctively Cardassian.
"There 'tis, lads," said Sean. "Terok Nor. Hail them, wouldja, Christie?"
"Sooner done than said," she replied, and a minor officer in Ops appeared on the screen.
"Ship, captain, and purpose," he said in a dull monotone.
"Borin' day, hmmm?" asked Sean. "Where's Dukat? I always enjoy a good conversation wi' him."
Now the officer went from bored to annoyed. "Ship, captain, and purpose," he said gruffly.
Sean sighed. "Ah, well. Private Space Ship Destiny Dog. Captain Sean Monihan. Pickin' up some crude iridium, planetside. Can I go down, now?"
The Cardassian checked his manifest. He was never happy dealing with anyone from the Federation, especially these days. But Monihan had clearance. "Go ahead, human." And he terminated the connection.
As Christie piloted the ship toward Bajor, Jax asked, "Who's Dukat?"
"Local gul," said Sean. "In charge o' Terok Nor here, an' the' Bajoran sector. Now, lads, there're certain things y'shou' know about Cardassians. I dinnae wha' y've heard o' them as yet, nor what precisely y'll be hearin' soon enough. But it won't much be good, an' most o' it'll be true. Many o' 'em are damned evil bastards. An' e'en th' best o' 'em'll ha' some ideas tha' aren't at all like ours. But they're not all bad, lads. Not e'en the soldiers an' spies all are. I feel I must warn you, I know you're good lads, but if a'er any race in this galaxy inspires hatred an' prejudice in you, it'll likely be them. Don' give in to it. There'll be years o' tension between them an' us, but a time will come when we're allies.
"An' anyway, whata'er else they may be, e'en the bad ones, Cardassians are some of the best conversationalists you're a'er likely ta meet. Tha' fellow in Ops notwithstanding."
"And terribly interesting architects," said Jax. "Uncle Peter would love that place."
"Aye, an' ya ain't e'en been inside," said Sean.
"We'll land in a few minutes," said Christie.
"…An' speakin' o' architecture, lad, the Bajorans provide some beautiful stuff themselves, though in stark contrast to Cardassian type."
All seven passengers stood watching the approaching planet. It was indeed a sight to see. Finally they landed, in a cave well out of sight and sensor range. They made their way from the bridge down to the lower cargo hold, and from there a door opened to the outside. The seven of them exited, each carrying a box of weapons and ammunition. They were met by a small group of men who were waiting for them.
"Sean, good to see you," said one of them. "But what took you so long? And what are these boys doing with you?"
"I stopped by Earth ta pick up these fine young nephews of mine, take 'em on a li'l summer adventure. Good ta see you too, Shakaar."
"Is their being here a good idea, do you really think?"
"I'm sure o' it. Bit o' life experience. Bit o' fun. An' getting them ta stop askin' questions abou' wha' I do. An' anyway, mark me, these lads are on th' way up. They'll be major players in th' galaxy one day. You've only ta know them ta know tha'. You shou' be glad ta know them."
"Well, then, introduce me. …But it's not like I'm gonna be a politician or anything. Or did you mean a different sort of players? More like you, perhaps?"
"Perhaps. This boy here's Jax Kirk DeSabel, middle-named after his great-grandda', who ya've no doubt heard of."
"Kirk? Not James T. Kirk?"
"Th' same. An' now here's Jacen Daniel Monihan. I expect you know his ma, Tracy McKay."
"From the Robert April, yes. Well, I'm sure you're right about them both, then. Now, your cargo's unloaded, best not to risk any more time here. you've other things to do. See ya next time."
"Goodbye, and good luck, my friend."
"Goodbye, Mr. Shakaar," said Jax and Jacen.
"Goodbye, lads. I hope we meet again someday."
They got back on the ship and took off. They flew toward their next destination, and they saw some more very nice architecture- though most of it was in ruins.
"If Cardassians aren't so bad, why are we supplying weapons to their enemies?" asked Jax.
"Now lad, I'm sure ya know a bit about wha's been goin' on aroun' here the past forty years. I said not all o' 'em are so bad. But some o' 'em ha' done some truly awful things. Th' main problem is in the military Central Command. Once the civilians take back control o' their government, I'm sure things'll be much better for the Cardassian Union, an' for Bajor. But th' Cardassians ha' been occupyin' Bajor for four decades now, an' it's got ta stop. These are damn fine folks, once dedicated primarily ta religion an' art an' such. Now… well, jus' look aroun'."
They arrived at a Cardassian-run mining facility, made contact with the administrators, and loaded the main cargo bay with iridium ore.
Then they set the ship down in a port area, and spent the next few days in a vedek monastery. They relaxed, cleansed their spirits, sampled the local cuisine, and talked to some of the crew's friends. Sean said maybe he could arrange for Jax and Jacen to meet Kai Opaka herself. But it didn't happen, much to their disappointment.
Destiny Dog part 3