The office door slid silently shut after Ziyal's angry departure. Dukat slowly returned to his seat and sat, staring after her despondently. Why couldn't she understand? He couldn't pardon Rom and spare his life - the Ferengi was a saboteur, a Federation spy. He wanted to destroy everything Dukat had worked for. Didn't she care about that?
He rubbed his forehead distractedly. Her accusatory words still rang in his head. He hadn't let on to her how much those words had stung, but they were like a cancer eating at his heart. Accusing him of not caring about her mother's people - that came from Kira, he was sure. Surely Ziyal knew better than that. He'd done everything he could to ease the lives of the Bajorans. Central Command had wanted him to exterminate the entire race, but he wouldn't do it. Kira, however, refused to believe that, and now she was poisoning his daughter's attitude toward him.
'"Major Kira was right. You don't care..."' Dukat closed his eyes, trying to shut out the voice that echoed inside his head. '"I *never* want to be like you...."'
"I *never* want to be like you!" the young Glinn Dukat yelled at his father. He turned to storm angrily out of the little study.
"You don't understand!" Legate Dukat yelled back, half-rising from behind his desk.
The younger Dukat froze, then turned in shock. He had *never* known his father to raise his voice in anger before. The elder Dukat also seemed shocked by this.
"Sit," he told his son in a more normal voice, gesturing to the seat in front of his desk. "Let me explain."
"Explain what?" the younger Dukat asked coldly, not moving. "Why you refused Central Command's explicit orders? Why you thought that you knew better than the State? No-one is above the State, father. We live to serve it, not to question it. Not to disobey it. You, above all others, should know that. You *taught* me that!" He turned and flung open the door. His friend Glinn Garak stood waiting, and from the expression on his face, Dukat knew he had heard nearly every word of the raging argument. Still, he felt compelled to ask: "You heard?"
Garak nodded. "You are right, of course." he said. "But do not worry. The State always wins."
Puzzled, Dukat looked at his friend, seeking an explanation for this strange statement, but Garak merely smiled enigmatically. Dukat shrugged slightly, dismissing it from his mind. As the two men began to walk down the corridor to the front door, his father's voice followed them.
"Son....Remember, there is no such thing as black and white. There are only ever shades of grey."
Dukat sighed at the memory, the last time he had seen his father before Garak had betrayed their friendship and brought his father to trial for treason.
"Remember, Ziyal," he whispered to the empty air. "There is no such thing as black and white. There are only ever shades of grey...."