Date: 06 Nov 2014 18:05 Title: Geometries of Chance
I think the thing that fascinates me the most about Pava is that out of all the things he fears, he probably fears what he himself is capable of the most. He has had bad things done to him, but he had done bad things as well. In this instance, there seems to be a valid reason for it (although we’ve only seen this one side), but I have a feeling that there have been unjustified acts of brutality as well. You don’t go through as many years as he’s gone through, and seen the sort of things he has seen without reflecting back brutality of your own. It all goes back to the old Nietzsche quote: “He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.” I am looking forward to learning more about his life. Some people write their brooding, dark characters in caricaturish form, surrounding them with the trappings of emotion and telling the audience how they are dark, rather than showing. I think your manner of writing a truly dark, conflicted hero is extremely effective. I empathize with him despite never having been through what he has experienced, I feel for him without pitying.
Thank you for the review! Pava is indeed a complicated creature with a long, sordid history. He's a hard man to comes to grips with, neither hero nor villain, more sinner than saint.
Date: 20 Oct 2014 03:48 Title: Geometries of Chance
Oooh, I hadn't realized this "whatever" was controlling the Orions as well. I thought they were just, well, being Orions.
I'm curious to see how foul of a mood Lar'ragos is when he finally wakes up again. I can see a lot of things that would set off a mentally stable El Aurian... and he doesn't necessarily meet that definition.
Date: 20 Oct 2014 03:32 Title: Geometries of Chance
Ah, Orions. Too gripped by their own desires for "valor" and combat "prowess" to let common sense take hold. Then again, it makes sense in a way based on what we know of animal women. Their women are so enticing because most lack the tactfulness and common sense to be long of this world.
I like Sandhurst's continued adjustment periods: dealing with a slower, older ship, trying not to step on toes, pretending to be confidant when he doesn't exactly feel that way.
Date: 13 Oct 2014 23:11 Title: Geometries of Chance
I would really hate to be Ashok... It's hard to be second smartest engineer on the ship when you're the Chief. Some really interesting things from Juneau... It definitely hints at there being more than meets the eye to the "mousy" officer.
I love the look in at DTI as well. They're certainly not the sort of people you would want showing up at your doorstep, and it makes a lot of sense that they would wield more power than is wise because of "recent" events.
Date: 13 Oct 2014 22:53 Title: Geometries of Chance
This may seem like an odd association, but reading Pava so far, I'm reminded of the song lyric "we're living in a powder keg and giving off sparks." I'm sure Bonnie Tyler meant it euphemistically, but he seems the sort to be both the fuel and the catalyst for a wide variety of reactions.
I'm interested by this whole runabout mission. My gut is telling me it's all a trap, but to what end?
Date: 12 Oct 2014 18:37 Title: Geometries of Chance
I really love how you started this story seemingly in media's res, even though it was only a simulation. It also offers red further insight not only into Pava's mind, but also into the political climate. I'm really curious to see what these scientists have up their sleeves. I suspect that they haven't fully realized the potential dangers of their meddling....
I'm quite eager to see what all you have planned.
Thank you for the feedback. Yes, this is a much different tale than Embers, but hopefully you'll find it equally enjoyable.
Date: 29 Sep 2014 00:23 Title: Embers of the Fire
I really like the view that I've gotten of your world from this story. I love the darker, grittier view of Starfleet. I love the multitude of higher forces that are at play. I love how none of your characters are perfect, and none of them have the magic "I win" bottom on their console. I love how you've allowed your crew to essentially fail this mission. I can't wait to get started on your other stories, because I'm sure that all of the actions that were taken in this story will have rippling repercussions, not only on the political landscapes, but also on the interpersonal relationships and inner strife of the characters.
Much obliged for the reviews of this story! Yes, there's is a complex universe without a lot of easy answers or satisfying victories.
Date: 29 Sep 2014 00:08 Title: Embers of the Fire
As this story continues, the parallels between Sandhurst and Ramirez are becoming more and more apparent. Ramirez's empathy has surprised me a lot more than Sandhurst's. She initially came off as the type who would take the Cardassian's actions more personally, and who would be more accepting of the Klingon's interrogation.
I've always believed that despite what the TV show presented, enemy races would have delineations in their "gray areas." That Klingons, for example, who were more likely to encounter Starfleet personnel were normally the more "even keel," open-minded sort. K'Vada seems to shake this belief; though presumably the "bad seeds" wouldn't be entirely relegated to the "far side" of the Empire. And of course, he surrounds himself with similarly-inclined ruffians.
K'Vada is a Klingon patriot, with all the horrific baggage that entails. He respects the Federation as powerful allies, but as we've seen, he can't stomach what he perceives as Starfleet's weak stomach for doing the ugly things that 'have to be done' in order to secure the peace.
Date: 28 Sep 2014 23:51 Title: Embers of the Fire
There is something about Ramirez that is decidedly adorable in this chapter. I also like how this shows sides of Pava that stand in start contrast: the listener, and the warrior. His handling of M'Sharv was hilarious.
Date: 28 Sep 2014 23:34 Title: Embers of the Fire
This chapter really shows a good deal about Sandhurst's character. It's one thing for a Starfleet Captain to simply refuse to do harm to enemy forces and civilians. It's another entirely for him to feel such concern about what non-Federation forces will do to them. The Cardassians captured by the Kang likely took action that lead to the death (or viral illness) of Phoenix crew. There's no reason for Sandhurst to feel such empathy for them, yet still he does.
Date: 28 Sep 2014 22:53 Title: Embers of the Fire
Oh, the unenviable clean up process. Still, it seems as though through all this, Ramirez and Sandhurst have reached somewhat of an improved-- albeit tenuously so-- relationship.
At least, they have until Ramirez comes across the red shirt he has with her name embroidered upon it.
Date: 28 Sep 2014 22:25 Title: Embers of the Fire
I'm hoping the shared frustrations between Sandhurst and Ramirez leads to a higher level of appreciation from both parties. Also, I feel bad for Sandhurst. Commanding one ship was a new enough experience, and now he's acting as a Fleet Captain. Fortunately, Cardassian greed and superiority has driven Panor to make a very unwise set of decisions.
Perhaps now Salk will be more interested in providing Starfleet assistance!
Date: 28 Sep 2014 16:52 Title: Embers of the Fire
Oooh, interesting little mystery we have here, and also a crescendo of activity that all seems to be moving towards the Crolsa sector. If he manages to work through all of this, I suspect Sandhurst will have a tremendous amount of paperwork awaiting him.
Date: 28 Sep 2014 16:30 Title: Embers of the Fire
I really admire your ability to still include a lot of detail without detracting from the "urgency" of the story. I also enjoy the fact that there is chaos from every angle: on the planet, on the Phoenix, in Sickbay, and among the engineers. Clearly Sandhurst is getting a baptism by fire.
It looks like Ramirez is the next to end up in that boat. I can only imagine the expression on her face right about now.
Date: 27 Sep 2014 00:47 Title: Embers of the Fire
I like this Jonin character. It's interesting to see other ship's crew looking down on Sandhurst... you wouldn't see any Lieutenant say no to a Kirk, Picard, or even a Sisko or Janeway.
I really enjoyed the glimpse insidge Sandhurst's head on the bridge. Doubt, trepidation, fear... these are things we rarely see in Captains. But even those with the longest of legacies is human at heart!
Can't wait to see how everyone works their ways out of this one!
Date: 26 Sep 2014 16:18 Title: Embers of the Fire
Ooooh, bio weapons. So very Cardassian, yet something that doesn't get brought up nearly enough in relation to them. I want Lar'ragos' flechette projectile weapon...
Yes, the Cardassian insurgents have been busy making bad, bad things.
Date: 25 Sep 2014 23:10 Title: Embers of the Fire
Poor Urlak, forced to deal with Ferengi to get the things he needs. This would have never happened before the Dominion War...
I can't wait to see if Inish's risk pays off!
Inish is a gambler. Cautious Ferengi seldom profit... that must be in their rules of acquisition somewhere!
Date: 25 Sep 2014 22:23 Title: Embers of the Fire
Oooh, so many things that I like in here. I like the difficulties that a smaller, older ship are going to cause. I like that this isn't a "Starfleet's finest" sort of situation, but rather a "this is who we could throw together with limited time and resources." I love the resentment and conflict between CO and XO.
Something tells me smooth sailing isn't in Gibraltar's future... at least no time soon.
I am struck, however, with an urge to sneak on the bridge, set up a bunch of holoemitters and make it look like it's 23rd century incarnation.
But actual buttons and switches would bruise their delicate, 24th century fingers! ;-)
Date: 21 Sep 2014 15:53 Title: Between The Rock and a Hard Case
I love seeing Captains as more humanized, more "less than perfect." I particularly like that this wasn't something that happened while on duty, but rather in a bar. It adds a tremendous amount of character to Sandhurst.
Much obliged for the review!
Date: 21 Sep 2014 05:41 Title: Embers of the Fire
I love any story that starts out with Cardassia :-D
One thing that I think canonical Star Trek downplays is just how much these sweeping galactic conflicts have rippling aftereffects, which may actually be worse than the conflict they stem from. I cringe at post-Dominion War tales of happiness and love, etc. All sides suffered losses; the most grievous of these were the losses to Cardassia. And not because of number dead, or the state of their homeworld... no. They had a mindset that had been ingrained for hundreds, if not thousands of years.
They will not go gently into that good night.
Think about it. You do the same thing over and over for centuries, and despite some small hiccups (which are to be expected), you succeed. The one time you really make a close alliance with another kind, and let down your xenophobic guard... it all sorts of goes to hell.
So sure, you'll take a bit of help, but you're going to start planning your exit strategy.
I'm really excited to read more of this story because you seem to have captured that exact sentiment and mindset extremely well. I also really enjoy your ability to paint the scene for the reader, but without going so far as to make it overly wordy or contrived.
Thank you for the detailed feedback, it's much appreciated! You've very accurately summed up Cardassia's position in this whole, unfortunate mess left over from the Dominion War.
Date: 10 Sep 2014 23:37 Title: Taking Leave
One of my favorite things to see is when writers swap the places of the good and evil forces. Obviously, all Cardassians aren't bad; in fact, most of them are likely just doing bad things because that's what one does to survive in Cardassia.
Contrariwise, there are unfortunately bad humans, even in Starfleet. And what better place to find them than Cardassia. What jerks. I hope they spend a lot time in a penal colony... and not one of the nicer ones either.
I also loved the twist that the human was the one doing the lying (although ultimately to a good end.)
I'm pleased you enjoyed the story, thank you for the review! Yes, good and evil exist in all species in the Trekverse, and in this one instance, justice was finally served.
Date: 18 Jul 2014 05:41 Title: Embers of the Fire
Good way to start your series Gibraltar. Opening with Point Station Epsilon in the Allied-Occupied Cardassian Territory was pure genius. I really liked how you described the station Epsilon in great detail, telling how it wasn’t the best built station and that it wasn’t completely planned out like the other better built stations by the Starfleet Corps of Engineers. Then you go on to describe the planet of Lakesh. How it was attacked and that the crew was helping with water purification. This story fascinates me. Now I’m ready to move onto chapter 2 to see what happens next. I cannot wait to see where you take this and how it ends. Thanks for sharing this and keep writing.
Thank you for the review. :) I'm pleased you're enjoying the tale.
Date: 26 May 2014 22:48 Title: Taking Leave
I must admit, I'm only peripherally familiar with your OC Sandhurst, so for me 'Michael's' identity wasn't readily apparent. Initially I was thinking that he was a convict, on a work-release program or something, due to the lines about getting to work with his hands, which he didn't get to do now, and the fact that his time here, assisting Taflim with such important work, was limited.
In many ways, that made the story all the more poignant for me for here I was, imagining a felon of some type who still had the moral fiber and moral compass to be incensed by what the Starfleet marines were doing. That increased my estimation of 'Michael' immesurably.
But when I learned his true identity, and the fact that he was spending his shore leave incognito, in an effort to provide help where it was sorely needed, using the replicators aboard his ship to make parts for the harvesters they couldn't get anywhere else, I immediately loved the man - gave him a virtual hug and everything. :)
The really sad part is that there are some (not many, thankfully) soldiers like Chabs-Wret, who once they've tasted glory in battle can't go back to the 'mudane, day-to-day' duties of a peace-keeping force. Most soldiers recognize battle for what it is - a necessary evil to be carried out only when conditions dictate it is necessary - and are more than happy to assist a defeated civilian population, especially since in most cases, the civilians had nothing to do with the decisions made by their government.
I wonder at the risk Sandhurst was taking, though - surely Taflim would have reported his new assistant, and the progress they were now making in restoring the fleet of ancient harvesters to working condition. I'm surprised no higher-ups took note of this and wondered where the human technician had come from, but then again it's easy for things to fall through the cracks in a frontier-type situation.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this piece - more so because I was unable to figure out the identity of the technician beforehand. Well done. :D
Thank you so much for the thoughtful response to this story. I'm glad the ending took you by surprise, and that you enjoyed the tale. Once an engineer, always an engineer...
Date: 05 Sep 2013 12:41 Title: UT: Task Force Vanguard, Part II: Scorched Earths
When I first found your stories on the UT website i must admit I was not overly enthusiastic about reading them mostly beacouse you were going to use an old Constitution class starship, so I thought you are just another author who cant escape the ST clichesh. But i gave it a try.... and wow I was proven so wrong! By no I can say you are so talented that you can teach Holywood a thing or three about making a good Star Trek story, instead of those... those things they try to shove down our throats.
I agree with some of the other readers, its a pity Doc and Olivia had to die, they were cute and two of my four favorite characters ( Ramirez and TSer being the two others ). But I guess that is what has to happen if one wants to write a dark realistic and at times grosome story.
I do have one small suggestion for the next instalment. As we have seen you dont shy away from showing gore blood and death, so is it possible that if somebody is to be tortured in the next part this character(s) to be female ? Personally I am curios to see how T'Ser or Sub Commander Chalois or both at the same time, will hold up under duress. Though i might sound like the Baron by giving this suggestion, I dont really want them to die infact it will be best if they are saved at the end. You can always use Ramirezes intent to hurt people close to Donald, just to make him suffer, so lets say she captures T'Ser and uses her as bait of her own ?
Well that was just my suggestion, in any case you do an outstanding work, of which I cant wait to read the next part(S) Thank you.
Thank you for the terrific review of the story! There's plenty more danger to be had in Part III, but I can't give away whom it will be that finds themselves in harm's way.
If you're interested in a dramatic story that puts T'Ser through her paces, I'd strongly recommend CeJay's fantastic All The Sinners, Saints, which you can find here: http://www.stareagleadventures.com/stareagleadventures.com/Eagle_4.html