Star Trek Deep Space Nine #27: A Stitch in Time

Star Trek Deep Space Nine #27: A Stitch in Time

4.5 19
by Andrew J. Robinson

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For nearly a decade Garak has longed for just one thing -- to go home. Exiled on a space station, surrounded by aliens who loathe and distrust him, going back to Cardassia has been Garak's one dream. Now, finally, he is home. But home is a world whose landscape is filled with death and destruction. Desperation and dust are constant companions and luxury is a glass of…  See more details below


For nearly a decade Garak has longed for just one thing -- to go home. Exiled on a space station, surrounded by aliens who loathe and distrust him, going back to Cardassia has been Garak's one dream. Now, finally, he is home. But home is a world whose landscape is filled with death and destruction. Desperation and dust are constant companions and luxury is a glass of clean water and a warm place to sleep.
Ironically, it is a letter from one of the aliens on that space station, Dr. Julian Bashir, that inspires Garak to look at the fabric of his life. Elim Garak has been a student, a gardener, a spy, an exile, a tailor, even a liberator. It is a life that was charted by the forces of Cardassian society with very little understanding of the person, and even less compassion.
But it is the tailor that understands who Elim Garak was, and what he could be. It is the tailor who sees the ruined fabric of Cardassia, and who knows how to bring this ravaged society back together. This is strange, because a tailor is the one thing Garak never wanted to be. But it is the tailor whom both Cardassia and Elim Garak need. It is the tailor who can put the pieces together, who can take a stitch in time.

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Pocket Books/Star Trek
Publication date:
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Series , #27
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2 MB

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Chapter 1

To: Dr. Julian Bashir

Chief Medical Officer

Deep Space 9


How odd you humans are. Or is it just the Starfleet people? Captain Sisko has just invited me to join the invasion -- for which I am eternally grateful. The opportunity to liberate my homeland renews and animates my sluggish spirit. But the good captain makes no mention of the fact that this invasion is now possible because of the incident with the Romulans. I am simply to report to his office at "oh-nine hundred hours" with ideas as to where the Dominion defense perimeter might be vulnerable. Oh, our dealings with each other are nothing less than proper ("Mr. Garak," "Captain Sisko"), but what's so odd is that he pretends the incident never happened. And you and I both know how deeply affected he was by the whole business. Only when we exchange direct looks do I perceive a flicker of...what? Anger? Betrayal? Violation?

Odd people.

Humans seem to walk through life's infinite variety of relationships and situations taking them all at face value. They rarely look behind the facade or the mask, where real intentions -- the truth of our motives -- live. And the fact is, more often than not they deny that they have any mask at all. These humans (and I do exclude you, Doctor -- I will come to that shortly) believe that what they present to the world and, conversely, what the world presents to them, is the truth. It's this belief that makes them dangerous.

In Cardassian society, we are taught from an early age to mask all feelings and thoughts, to deflect all outside perception and observation. The objective of this education is to create a citizen who can work within the group to accomplish a group goal established by the leader, and at the same time work in such a way that none of the other members of the group knows what he or she is doing. As long as the goal is accomplished, it's nobody's business how you went about your work.

So why Captain Sisko is so upset with me because I accomplished the goal (which he established!) of getting Romulus into the war against the Dominion baffles me. And it's not because of the few lives that were sacrificed. Federation expansion has taken a toll in countless life-forms -- about most of which they are blissfully unaware. The moment you step into a garden and begin to cultivate and prune, you become a killer. Perhaps the captain was upset because he had hesitated to do what was necessary to insure the integrity of his garden. Sentimentality is another trait that makes humans dangerous.

But why am I writing this to you, instead of waxing philosophical over one of our lunches? I see that overly polite smile, your "Get to the point, Garak" mask. Patience, dear Doctor. First, let me explain why I can exempt you from this human bondage to appearance and sentiment. Long before it was revealed that you were genetically "enhanced," I recognized in you an intelligence, a capacity for understanding that I found lacking in other humans. As much as the subject irritates you, you have not been so much genetically enhanced as "arranged." The people who did this to you had specific reasons, which you have long since outgrown. And having assimilated these changes you've accommodated yourself to this "arrangement" according to the demands of your life. For me, this means that in a sense you are more Cardassian than human. Which is why I am able to share this document with you...and why I sat down to lunch with you in the first place.

Before you cringe with horror at the thought of being a Cardassian, let me give you an example. Human memory is selective and linear. Simply put, a human remembers the best of times in progressive order, beginning with earliest childhood. The rosy memories are only challenged by nightmares. A Cardassian remembers everything on every level all the time. For us, past and present are not neatly separated. We live with everything in the moment -- including the nightmares. And so do you. To a human this would be chaotic, unbearable. For us it's just the way it is.

This is one reason why I am addressing this recollection to you. Fate lines are converging, like memories to a dying man. I need to write this, Doctor, and you're the only person on this station who will understand. The invasion of Cardassia is momentous. Many will die. If I don't survive, I want you to deliver copies of this to some people I will name at the end.

There's another reason. I know that we have grown apart and that's as it should be. We learn what we can from certain people, then we move on after we've taken what we need. When we learn nothing new about ourselves in a relationship that's when the relationship is over. Or it's over the moment when we're afraid to learn something new about ourselves. But what I have been learning about myself...whatever it was inside me that was sparked and challenged when I first met deeply connected to this story. I'm an unfinished man, Doctor, like a suit of clothes hanging on a display rack waiting for the final touches that may never come; I need to tell this story to make a peace with those parts of me that were left unfinished. A healing. Indulge me, if you will; I need you as a witness. A stitch in time....

Copyright © 2000 by Paramount Pictures

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Star Trek Deep Space Nine #27 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Karen Thompson More than 1 year ago
I consider myself to be a "closet" Star Trek reader - (being somewhat embarrassed to tell others what I am reading.) A book snob? Yea, probably. However, this book's author writes with style and eloquence and I am proud to recommend it. I also felt like it was a "whole" book (w/app 340 pg vs the others in this series having /less than 200 pg. on my Nook Color). I recognize it must be difficult to track every character in the DS9 series but the references in this book to Ziyal' s death might have been better clarified. I do not recall it happening in the 26 books immediately preceding this one. Also suggest better proof reading for entire series but nevertheless give this book and the series a big "thumbs up." I don' t expect to increase my vocabulary when reading ST books but this book broke that illusion for me. Was actually sad to see no other books by this author, Andrew J. Robinson. More, please! Thanks for a great read! Karen T - Oceanside, CA
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite story lines from the TV series Deep Space Nine was Cardassia and Elim Garak. This book gave some valuable insight into how Garak became a simple tailor and the reason for his exile. It touches on his successes and failures at the Bamarren Institute for State Intelligence and how he became a member of the Obsidian Order.  It also explores his relationship with Enabran Tain, his real father.   The timeline of the book was very interesting and you may find it hard to follow.  It seems to jump all over different periods of his life and back from the Bamarrent Institute to Deep Space Nine to the aftermath of the Dominion War.  This made it very interesting and helped me develop a more intimate and stronger afinity / connection with Garak through the whole book.   The book did a good job of toying with my feelings - moments of sadness with Garak's failures and moments of happiness with his successes. I definitely recommend this book to all Deep Space Nine fans that enjoyed the series.  I might even recommend this book to those who have never seen an episode of DS9.  Although annoying, anyone who cannot get past the typos here and there just wants to express AN opinion.
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I was expecting to enjoy this book ,because Andrew J. Robinson was the actor that played Garek. In all reality he makes this book a very intense and entertaining read. Go and discover the some of the secrets behind this Cardasian. This book in my opinion tells you a lot about who he is and ties a lot of his life to the series. Great Read!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
the backstory, the pre-invasion days, the post-war cardassia; a world through the eyes of the enigmatic tailor we first met during the early days of DS9, the past scattered like crumbles on a table, how personalities from his short time at Bamarren carried over into his adult life, he lived a kind of life that some might understand if you were both the wise and the kid like throughout your life yet to return finally back to the house you grew up in only to find its not there, something overtook the landscape in your absence, whether he was the gardener, the spy, the student, the tailor, the observer, or any other role, he is a remarkable character to the world and the universe, he remains one of my personal favorites in Trek, only slightly rivaled by Bashir, Jake, Picard, Data, and countless others, what it amounts to is formulating people that feel so real that you could pass them on the streets and wave as if you had known all your life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Excellent! No one understands the enigmatic Garak better than the man who played him, Andrew J. Robinson, so who better to write about his life? In his intellectual way, the author expertly portrays the life, times, and idealogical makeup of both Garak and the Cardassian people as a whole. I am not a big fan of Startrek books in general, but this is simply too good to pass up.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've always been a huge fan of the Garak character, and have found him to be intriguing, to say the least. This book gives insight into what 'made' the man. A insiders view into the Cardassian society and culture, along with tales of the life and times of Garak, create a finely woven timeline of the creation the the character we only get to know superficially in the DS9 TV series. One of the best ST:DS9 books I've read ... if not the best!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have always loved Garak, and I was hoping to see this book a long time before it came out. When I did read this book, it answered a great many questions; however, it also left many unanswered. I am not sure whether it is best left that way, since Garak's best attribute is his charming mystery. Here's hoping Robinson pens another!
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's been some time since I've red a great book. It was like reading a 'catching up' letter from long lost friend. You are affraid you have grown appart but when you start reading you know your friendship has developed into something new and deeper and shifted to different level. I felt that there was a lot of personal perception, experience and dreams that belong to the author. That's one thing that a book MUST have to really get me involved. I would be glad to see Adrew Robinson writing another book full of insights.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I met Andrew Robinson, the actor, last summer at a convension. He told me as an afterthought that he was writing a book about his character, Garak, and I waited patiently for it until it was reliesed. Having talked to him, and seen him as an actor, I have decided that the best person to write a story about a television character is the very actor who plays him. The story not only mentions familiar plot lines from the late 'Deep Space Nine' program, but develops new ones in other directions that explain where the show might have been coming from. If you are a fan of Cardassians you cannot afford to pass this one over since it will leave you with a new perception of Garak and his people. If you wanted to know what happened to Cardassia after the show ended, this also is your ticket. Frequent cameos of Cardassians from both 'DS9' and 'The Next Generation' bring about shock and wonder. The story asks who people really are after they have lived years under the titles of their careers, and with the outcomes of the decisions they have made. How can a spy become a tailor? Perhaps it is the same question to ask how an actor can become and author?
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is absolutely wonderful if you love Garak as I do! I could hear his voice all the way thru this and it was great to see how Garak became Garak. How he got into the Obsidian Order, what his homelife was like and how he reacted emotionally to everything that went on in his life. A truly insightful look into the character of Garak. I was wondering how an actor would do as a writer and Mr. Robinson has done a magnificent job! A must for Garak fans and all those who want to know more about Cardassia and its inhabitants.
Guest More than 1 year ago
No, not 'amazingly not-horrrible considering an actor wrote it,' but actually good. The title was well-chosen, as Robinson does an exellent job of intergrating three seperate timelines of Garak's life into a book that actually has a unifying plot. He doesn't stop there, either. What is most remarkable about this book is the ease with which so many elements are folded in without losing the narrative. Giving the proper backround on Cardassian society and history so that the author could get on to explaining Elim Garak could easily have turned this book into a sort of Encylopedia Cardassia. Not giving those details, so rarely delved into in any of the media Star Trek inhabits, would have made Garak completely incomprehensible. Yet the author does neither. A must-read for any Garak fan.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Absolutely fantastic story, but the sheer bulk of errors in this e-book make for extremely clumsy reading. I went through while reading and highlighted each mistake I found - there are over 80 in this novel. Yep. You will be better off paying a dollar for a used paperback on eBay instead of paying $8 for a book that appears to have been typed out by someone having a really bad day. Crazy spelling errors abound (I'm not talking about easy-to-miss ones here...) lack of periods at the end of many sentences, general avoidance of the spacebar, and in one chapter, a main character had her name spelled differently several times. Be warned, fans. That is all.