In at least two universes, Mendral also demonstrates an affinity for singing. In the prime universe, his aptitude for military tasks precluded him from receiving the musical composition license or even performance license that he would have needed from the government to follow that as a career--even in a part-time capacity. However, Gul Macet became aware of his talent and offered him a chance to serve in a way that the Cardassian legal system could not interfere with. As a result, one of his recurring duties aboard the Trager is to serve as a member of the ceremonial Honor Vigil and to sing the funeral chant during the memorial service for fallen soldiers of the Cardassian Guard. In 2375, as one of the rebel Thirteenth Order, Mendral sang in a service where, in an unprecedented move, his song also memorialized fallen Starfleet officers who gave their lives in the Cardassian Rebellion. (Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order)
Catacombs of Oralius universeEdit
In a universe where Cardassian and Bajoran roles are reversed, Mendral grew up in the Cuellar refugee camps, to which his parents fled shortly after his birth. Conditions in the camps were rough, and his parents often cut their own rations to make sure Hirhul and his brothers, Arjan and Lopar, could eat.
Just as Hirhul entered adolescence, a Human with the surname of Singh offered to help him and his brothers escape into the Federation. After their escape, Hirhul, Arjan, and Lopar would reside in the city of Phoenix with this man's brother, Spencer Singh. It took Hirhul a year of private tutoring to make up for educational deficits before he could enter the ninth grade. That year was marked by some social difficulties, but he did make a few close friends, some of whom dissented in their own ways from the majority.
After his graduation in Phoenix, Hirhul Mendral decided to enter Starfleet. This was a difficult decision for him, since he took at times a rather cynical view towards Federation society (and human society in particular), seeing it as hypocritical and selective in the application of its supposed value of tolerance--particularly towards those of faith. Ironically, in the end it was Mendral's own faith in the Oralian Way that solidified his decision to serve. (Sigils and Unions: Catacombs of Oralius--"The Image and the Spirit," "The Exile")
In spite of these circumstances, he eventually wound up serving as helmsman of the Enterprise-D by the year 2370. Ensign Mendral befriended Sam Lavelle and spent a great deal of time with him, up to and including attending each other's religious services. (Sigils and Unions: Catacombs of Oralius--"Captives' Ransom")