Date: 29 May 2015 14:22 Title: USS Impetuous: Outsiders
These are fascinating characters, and I am a little sad that there isn't more to this story. I get the feeling that Doctor Varayk might be hiding some sort of impure blood as well. As for Kaavi, there is something there, too. Unspoken and unwritten, it nags at me, that she has something going on.
I find it hard, at times, to reconcile the idea of pure blood to that of hybrids, which should technically, scientifically speaking, be impossible or at least very difficult without rather fancy footwork on the part of the medical establishment. With every pregnancy the result of a test tube, that would make all hybrid pregnancies planned and wanted. I know that Star Trek does not work that way (plus there is a canon explanation, but I personally do not buy it), and so you have offspring like Amora, who are a bit of both and belong to neither society.
Fine, intelligent, and thought-provoking.
Date: 27 May 2015 13:37 Title: USS Impetuous: You Can't Go Home Again
Wow. This is a dark tale, in tone and in content.
Alyene is just right as a prceocious young girl. You captured that magical "tween" age nicely -- she reminded me of my ten-year-old son and his friends. Old enough to hear and comprehend what the adults around her are saying, and eager to eavesdrop ... but perhaps not emotionally ready for the reality of those conversations. Very well done.
I like Faelin and his wife. Trek, especially, has a tendency to paint people (especially aliens) as either total altruists or total villains, when the truth is that most people fall somewhere in between. Faelin knows that the future of Bajor depends not on charity, but on people like him -- people willing to work hard and endure the slings and arrows of the beaten-down complainers around him in order to rebuild an independent world. He doesn't have dreams of ruling Bajor. He just knows that his best shot at contributing to its successful rebirth is to work hard, be useful, and raise his ten children to do the same. I wonder what his future holds, as it is men lke that who often find themselves leading, eventually, however reluctantly.
I also wonder what the aftermath of this event will be for Alyene. Luckily, she is young enough to be resilient, and to bury a memory like this one in her subconscious. But she is also old enough that it could very well mark a turning point in the way she views the universe.
It's interesting to see a story delve so deeply into Bajoran culture, and I really enjoyed this closer look at the aftermath of the war. As for your writing, it's very solid, good stuff. You could make things a little clearer in the beginning by cleaning up the tenses between past and past-perfect (I have trouble with that, too, when I'm on a roll with the muse and just getting words down), particularly around the point where she's remembering her school days. But that's a minor quibble. Overall, this is exceptionally good work and I loved reading it. When I have time, you're going on my "to read" list for sure. :)
Date: 26 May 2015 20:20 Title: USS Impetuous: You Can't Go Home Again
Woah, what an ending!
A wonderfully poignant story here, giving us a glimpse into the horrors of the Occupation from a different point of view, as those who fled the Cardassian atrocities return to retake their land - very reminiscent of the survivors of the Holocaust returning to Israel after WW2. You did a great job describing the feelings of your characters - it was very easy to get into the head of this precocious young girl, forced to try and get her head around all of the various emotions surrounding her and make sense of the nonsensical at a time when those who are much older than her are struggling. Alyene was a nice character, well drawn.
The tagless dialogue at the beginning was a nice touch as well, showing the two sides of the Bajoran conversation that had to be going on at this time, echoing a lot of the arguments that would be heard in the first season of DS9. The Bajoran/Cardassian situation was one of the most interesting ever portrayed on Star Trek, in my opinion, and you did a very good job of getting into that here. It is obvious that the scars the Cardassians have left behind are going to be difficult to deal with for everybody, but you get across very well that for those who left and are now returning, seeing those scars up close has to be traumatic.
And then, as I mentioned at the top of the review, we get the ending. I was not expecting that, although it made a certain sick sense considering what we know about the Cardassians. Although I'm glad there were no explosive booby traps to hurt Aly, I have to assume that this is going to have a major effect on her.
Nicely done all round, a clever handling of a traumatic episode in your character's life. Well done!
Date: 15 Dec 2014 23:31 Title: USS Impetuous: The Hitomi Incident
Lin may not have lost her rank, but a transfer to a smaller ship can still feel like a demotion. At least she has Admiral Beron to soften the blow as much as possible.
I mostly enjoy how the narrative delves into the experiences of a joined Trill, especially not giving them too many special privileges. Even if they try to differentiate each host, it still must be strange to be outranked by formerly subordinate officers.
Date: 15 Dec 2014 22:28 Title: USS Impetuous: The Hitomi Incident
This situation sure had Kobayahsi Maru written all over it. The poker game with the Romulan commander did seem to buy some time while raising a question of why scientists the Hitomi was trying to rescue was under Romulan protection.
All and all, Lin made the right choices considering the circumstances even though everything that could go wrong did go wrong.
Date: 03 Oct 2014 20:32 Title: USS Impetuous: Primum non Nocere
that was really rough. How frustrating, knowing you have to do everything you can to save a man that probably killed hundreds of your comrades. You tackled this challenge well, and I really enjoyed how you approached it
Author's Response: Thanks for your feedback!
Date: 29 Sep 2014 16:15 Title: USS Impetuous: Primum non Nocere
What a way to meet a writing challenge. You cover a lot of ground in this short story. Very thoughtful and engaging, and what a moral dilemma to deal with. And the personal thoughts intercut (thats the film maker in me here) with the narrative work very well. Very powerful story here.
Author's Response: Thanks, I'm glad it's been so well-received, and I really appreciate the feedback!
Date: 27 Sep 2014 23:31 Title: USS Impetuous: Primum non Nocere
I enjoyed this immensely. You really captured the sense of urgency and the moral dilemma presented by that particular patient amidst flowing and beautiful prose. With so many injured, would it have been morally correct to treat 'friendlies' who were experiencing the same level of trauma within the parameters of triage? I think that brief thought came across loud and clear. But as doctors, individuals aren't permitted (or aren't supposed) to make that choice. Beautifully drawn, and a superb story, especially for your first challenge entry. I hope we see much more from you in the future.
Author's Response: Thanks so much for the praise!
Date: 23 Sep 2014 22:18 Title: USS Impetuous: Outsiders
An interesting encounter. The subtle and seemingly subconscious body language on display here among the two Cardassians was particularly interesting.
The last segment seemed to end rather abruptly but I liked how Varayk pretty much upended all her fears and left Mari practically baffled by one simple statement.
Also, I could be mistaken, but it seems there are a lot of Cardassians serving on this ship ...
Author's Response: I never want to stretch out a piece to the point that people lose interest. I like ending on a place that leaves the audience wondering what happens. :-) And there is Cardassian and a half Cardassian on Impetuous. (Reesa and Helik are both on a separate vessel in another time frame).
Date: 22 Sep 2014 00:27 Title: USS Impetuous: Primum non Nocere
Doctors practicing medicine tend to create some of the greatest moral dilemmas. Throw into the mix the issue of race and friend or foe and you got yourself a terrific little quandary.
But in the finest Starfleet medics traditions Varayak knows precisely what to do and what his priorities have to be. Great little tale here of what it means to be a healer in times of war.
Author's Response: Thanks for the feedback!
Date: 21 Sep 2014 18:22 Title: USS Impetuous: Primum non Nocere
A bold choice for your first challenge response but it was worth it as you pull it off well. Your prose was tight and easy to follow and thus allowing the reader to focus on the core story of Doctor Varayk being in the awkward position of a Cardassian medic in Starfleet trying to save the life of a “True Way” Cardassian terrorist enemy.
The oath interweaved with Varayk private thoughts as he race to save the terrorist life in trying conditions felt believable and those moments of doubt from Varayk reflected his Junior grade status but his solution to the blood shortage issue show his inner character. A fully enjoyable introduction to the character of Varayk, hope to see more of him in the future. Well done.
Author's Response: Thanks so much! I was trying to use the oath in two ways; first to give the narrative a bit of structure (and I tried to gear what was happening in the story to what part of the oath preceded it), and second to have the reader experience the sort of "mind is jumping between two things" that Varayk was feeling. I was really afraid that it would detract from the story, so I'm glad that people enjoy it! There will definitely be more of Varayk to come :-D
Date: 21 Sep 2014 08:38 Title: USS Impetuous: Primum non Nocere
Here we see the nobility of medicine, and that of this man who practices it. His was a decision on the razor's edge, and could have gone either way if not for his recital of his oath. The man he saved in the process is likely too jaded (or too fervent a believer) to appreciate the gift bestowed upon him by Varayk.
A damn fine piece of writing, and an excellent lesson in morality. Kudos!
Author's Response: Yeah; the hope that the man would ever be more than a terrorist was evidence of Varayk's youthful idealism. I look forward to destroying it post haste ;-) On a serious note though, thanks for your praise!
Date: 20 Sep 2014 20:10 Title: USS Impetuous: Asking Favors
A much more light hearted little tale which is a great counter balance to the very serious story about the chief of security.
Two young ensigns on their first mission with stars in their eyes and ready for some mischief.
These two make an interesting pair and it would be interesting to see what kind of trouble they manage to get themselves in. Other than being arrested for soliciting.
Author's Response: Yeah; I tend to be rather mean to my characters, so I try to fit in some more light-hearted tales in there too! Thanks for the feedback!
Date: 20 Sep 2014 20:03 Title: USS Impetuous: Moving On
Ouch. One hell of a mistake to make. Somewhat understandable considering her emotional state but not exactly forgivable. How many people were killed because of her distraction with personal matters? It might be cruel to say, and I don't think its a question of competency, but in a crisis, a Starfleet officer must be able to put their personal feelings aside and focus on the job. T'Kaen wasn't able to do this and the price for this failure was high.
Author's Response: Yeap, and there will most definitely be consequences!
Date: 16 Sep 2014 00:48 Title: USS Impetuous: Joined
This was an outstanding introduction to a very promising character. The level of detail you've accomplished in such a short story, combined with its emotional weight, makes me hungry for more.
Author's Response: Thanks! Joined was a story that I wanted to write, and I didn't have a character in mind. So I kind of used the story as a way of "guiding" my development of Xeira.
Date: 14 Sep 2014 21:26 Title: USS Impetuous: Joined
This is a rather interesting look into what is surely a mysterious phase of Trill existence - not only the concept of joining, but also what happens when the symbiont is first joined, or when it comes to (or near) the end of its existence.
Well done and engaging!
Author's Response: Thanks so much :-D
Date: 13 Sep 2014 00:57 Title: USS Impetuous: Joined
I really enjoyed the story and I liked the way that you presented Xeira as a character as she was awaiting the joining with the Tor symbiont and the emotional turmoil of not getting that particular symbiont. I loved the buildup and the development; you have a great way of expressing your ideas.
After all of that buildup, though... I was a little disappointed by how anti-climactic and slightly off-character Xeira had been. Now that she was joined with Eli, I would have thought the death of a symbiont to rock her on her heels more rather than having the unusually self-centered nature to only think of how lucky she was. In DS9, Jadzia Dax spoke about how the lives of symbionts were probably more sacred than their hosts (at times, but not always) and the loss of a symbiont often meant that it was the loss of more than just one... it was the loss of all those hosts along the way. I have to admit at being a little disappointed with how Xeira Eli reacted to that, and I didn't like her at the end of the story as much as I was liking her in the middle of the story.
I'm hoping to see more writing from you! :)
Author's Response: Thanks for the feedback :-) I tend to include the novel canon (or at least something somewhat similar) in my handling of joined Trill: specifically that the symbiont doesn't die when it's too old, it just returns to the caves to procreate, and to share the knowledge it has with other old symbionts. That makes it far less traumatic of a thing when one can't be joined anymore.
Date: 12 Sep 2014 15:37 Title: USS Impetuous: Joined
I really enjoyed this tale of yours. The rhythm of your well-chosen words made Xeira and her concerns seem very real. In the end I was glad that she joined with young Eli, who already has a yearning to explore. What better symbiont for a member of Starfleet?
Author's Response: Thank you! I really wanted to make sure that Eli wasn't just a "nothing," if that makes sense. The symbiont has it's own whims and such. Nothing TOO big, just gentle nudging...
Date: 10 Sep 2014 22:09 Title: USS Impetuous: The Hitomi Incident
That was unexpectedly diplomatic... and fair... of the fleet captain. Maybe Lin will be starting out with a cleaner slate than she'd expected.
The mission sounds difficult and fraught with dangers, just the thing a captain with a tarnished reputation might need to redeem herself.
Great stuff, can't wait to see where this goes!
Author's Response: Thanks, I am too! The characters sort of write themselves at times.
Date: 10 Sep 2014 21:39 Title: USS Impetuous: The Hitomi Incident
It's important to have friends that can put everything in perspective for you... and kick you in the backside when you really need it.
That was a wonderful piece of character interaction.
Author's Response: Thank you! My favorite part of Etaera is her adjustment to being subordinate to people she once lead, and this story was the first aspect of that.
Date: 10 Sep 2014 21:36 Title: USS Impetuous: The Hitomi Incident
Methinks the good captain will be spanked rather harshly for her decision to engage the warbirds rather than withdraw. A lot of people died unnecessarily in this scenario, and only Lin stands responsible.
Glad I'm not in her boots.
Author's Response: Thanks! I really wanted to make sure that I didn't start the tale with my captain doing something super awesome and heroic. That gets done a lot. I like the "fall from grace" aspect.