Here is what I know for sure: Nerys never gets used to being first in command. She never stops expecting Ben Sisko to come back, any minute. She never stops calling her office his office. Even when she’s promoted to General, even when she starts hearing rumors that at the next election so-and-so or so-and-so will put her name forward for First Minister, she’s never really quite able to call herself a leader of her people.
It’s a dark, uneasy time, in those years that follow the explosive end of the Dominion war, the ruination of Cardassia, the depth of loss she scarcely survives. She drinks a lot. She doesn’t eat enough. (How many times will Julian tell her that she doesn’t eat enough?) She almost never sleeps. She works. She works, and works, and works, though she couldn’t say at what, exactly. She works because she doesn’t want to think what else there might be to do.
Then one day, she looks up, and her hair is shot through with just the faintest strands of white, her hands are the veined and cracking hands of a woman in her middle age, and she wears a General’s insignia at her throat like it’s always been there. She has aged, and she has become a politician.
But she never lost her insurgent’s instincts, never learned how to approach the day-to-day except from the embattled position of a resistance fighter. So it’s a blessing when she finds Kimara Cretak, refugee, in her office, seeking asylum.
The story of how she and Kimara orchestrate the long, occasionally bloody, revolution that will bring the Romulan Empire into a new era, one without the Tal Shiar and its politics of violence and secrecy, without the military paranoia that has gutted its culture and its citizenry both, is a story I will tell one day.
The story of her alliance with Elim Garak, who is the shadow force behind the new Cardassian government, is another one, for someone else to tell. But anyone with any true sense for interstellar politics knows that at the core of the Alpha Quadrant sit Kira Nerys and Elim Garak, neither of them elected to formal office, but each of them and both of them together determining the course of things, now and to come.
And another thing I know is this: in between the battles and catastrophes, she never loses her survival instincts, but she does learn, slowly, how to be in long time. She learns how to be Julian’s friend, in long time. She learns how to be a parent to Yoshi, in long time. She learns after great difficulty how to rebefriend Ezri Dax, in the course of long, long time. And she doesn’t know what to call what she is to Jake Sisko, sister, mother, friend, mentor, but it’s strong and lasting, and in the long, long time they have together, she begins to stop looking for his father in him, and to see and love and protect the man he is. She learns, at last, and it comes as some relief to her, how to be in her chosen family, in long time.
Excuse me while I let myself sob in a corner…
Oh, Pirate Queen of My Heart, I suspect that some day soon we’re going to need to sit down to talk about that day you crashed onto a reef and how you vanish every time I visit the qunari compound…
I’ve been thinking about how a lot of guys say “now go make me a sandwich” to women and how I bet the margin of success regarding that statement and how often saying actually ends with a sandwich in their hand (I can’t prove it’s zero often but it’s probably close to that) tells me that the only women who have ever made these guys a sandwich is their mom, which leads me to two important questions
- Do you talk to your mom like that
- Do you want the women you’re being sexist towards to be more like your mom
If you sincerely answered “yes” to either of those, here’s my next question
- That’s kind of weird, is that supposed to be attractive
Dragon Age: “Look, lyrium is dangerous, it drives dwarves mad sometimes, don’t ever touch it at all!”
Dragon Age 2: “Hey, idol made of pure lyrium! Sure, human, pick that up for me.”
And Varric calling his brother a son of a bitch and then apologizing to his mother? Beautiful.