Date: 28 Aug 2020 18:11 Title: 55 - Agamemnon, 2372
Well... I quite liked the last bit with Commander Toreth - oily, but not a terrible contact to have. Maybe not as easy to like as Commander Shran, but an opening, nonetheless.
And just a little more cat. Please?
A case could be made to divide this chapter to emphasize the ending.
Nice story! Thanks!! rbs
Author's Response: Very glad you made it all the way through this story. I know I tend to write them long and not everyone has the patience or time to read through an entire novel. I'm quite fond of The God Particle because it remains my only proper Trek fan fic novel focused on a different starship crew than Eagle and I had a lot of fun exploring these people and Maya in particular, not to mention the inclusion of the retro Lexington aspects. Thanks again for the terrific reviews.
Date: 28 Aug 2020 17:41 Title: 54 - Lexington, 2267
Always good to have a creepy unresolved ending. So he's not quite ready for that padded cell just yet...
The mad scientist in desperate search of perfection is a staple of science fiction. In a way, it plays an oddly anti-science note in Star Trek - which depicts a life made much better by advanced science.
But there is always the cautionary tale about those who attempt to break the first commandment:
THOU SHALT NOT PLAY GOD!!
Author's Response: Very good point. Trek loves the notion of science gone awry and the mad scientist trope. It makes for fun storytelling I suppose even if it is at odds with is happiness-through-technology philosophy that underlines most of its society in the future. I admit that I'm a fan of that philosophy since it is fairly unique in science fiction where the future and technology are usually depicted as something dangerous and to be afraid of.
Date: 27 Aug 2020 16:21 Title: 53 - New Xenarth, 2372
And some unrequited insect love. Interesting that Maya and Glover are far more comfortable with bending the Prime Directive than Wesley is. That actually tracks with the cultural development of the Federation from the original series to the next generation.
Author's Response: There is another reason for this as well. The Omega Directive is one of the few in Starfleet which takes precedence over the Prime Directive. Wesley didn't have that yet and had to make things up as he went along.
Date: 27 Aug 2020 16:09 Title: 50 - Lexington, 2267
Well.. I suspect the cell that Ketteract is headed toward is a padded one... How do you deal with a scientist who knows too much? That would be one of the Federation's darker secrets.
I don't remember much about Omega from the series - not even which series it was in. Only that it was mentioned and too dangerous to handle. Which makes it fertile ground to build a story around.
Author's Response: The Omega Particle was introduced and featured in only one Trek episode, I believe. That was "The Omega Directive" in Voyager. In that episode it was revealed that a scientist named Ketteract had first attempted to stabilize the molecule in the 23rd century and promptly blew himself up in the process and made a whole sector of space permanently impassible. This story tells us some of the background of that failed experiment and the man behind it.
Date: 26 Aug 2020 14:10 Title: 49 - Cuffe, 2372
Yep - still a lot of people to rescue (hopefully).
That Omega is quite the capable DeM, getting the 3 borg ships to shuffle off and do something else withtheir time.
And Daystrom does not come to such a dismal end as Ketteract.
Author's Response: Not quite over yet. I suppose there are some parallels between Daystrom and Ketteract. In fact, it might be fair to say that Ketteract is somewhat modeled after Richard Daystrom in TOS. But Wayne clearly is not his great grandfather. I'd like to think Maya had something to do with that to.
Date: 26 Aug 2020 14:05 Title: 48 - Iota Crucis IV, 2267
And he is able to get his crew out alive (well - most of them). Beam me up - no intelligent life down here...
A satisfying end that the Warrior Queen was willing to let him leave and destroy the boronite.
Author's Response: All's well that ends well? Maybe ... maybe not. Although, yes, Wesley's part is mostly done here.
Date: 25 Aug 2020 15:41 Title: 47 - Agamemnon, 2372
Ah - very nice - the intelligent particle acting intelligently and spacetime travel in response to thought.
A nice twist on the time honored Deus Ex Machina - in fact as close to the definition of the word as I have seen.
Author's Response: Deus Ex all the way. It is called the God Particle for a reason. Deus Ex Machina is usually used as a writing crutch and it has gained a poor rep for it. I always thought that it kind of made sense in the context of this story though. I'll let others judge.
Date: 25 Aug 2020 15:28 Title: 46 - Borg Cube 321, 2372
Ah those monomaniacal borg! I've not seen a chapter from their perspective before. Very interesting.
Author's Response: Yeah, this one was a bit weird. It is the only chapter in this story told from their perspective. I suppose it breaks up the narrative a little bit, makes it unpredictable.
Date: 25 Aug 2020 15:27 Title: 45 - Iota Crucis IV, 2267
The demise of Bob Wesley... Or his ascension - stay tuned...
Classic cliff-hanger and a nice swift delivery.
Author's Response: You can probably tell that I enjoy a good cliffhanger. This story, like most of my work, was posted in installments where cliffhangers are even more effective. In a complete story like the one here, they hopefully function as great page-turners.
Date: 25 Aug 2020 15:22 Title: 44 - Agamemnon, 2372
Nothing like a clock. I really like the divided screen - something that the various TV series did not use often enough. Probably not because it was too technically challenging but more an issue of that potential being neglected by the writers.
I have a cartoon that has four switches - "All Power to Shields" "All Power to Engines" "Reverse the Polarity" (I don't remember what the other one was - but a common Trek tech trope.)
I'm still betting that black hole will have a role to play before this is all over...
Again - good quick read and clear prose that stays out of the way of the story.
Author's Response: Split screens make a lot of sense, I'm also surprised it wasn't used more frequently in Trek. Of course, nowadays, with group Zoom meetings being the new normal, it's unthinkable not to have the functionality.
Date: 24 Aug 2020 14:28 Title: 43 - Iota Crucis IV, 2267
And the scientist is just as much a fanatic as the religious zealots. Best line "God, how I hate religious fanatics..."
Again, a good fast read as disaster looms in both the past and the present - so to speak.
Author's Response: The lines can get blurred when it comes to zealotry. It's certainly not limited to religious fanatics.
Date: 24 Aug 2020 14:19 Title: 42 - Zenith, 2372
A Mexican stand-off. Another unexpected twist. And another quick and enjoyable read.
Battle scenes can get monotonous very quickly. You have a good way of keeping the action intersting with new wrinkles.
Author's Response: Very glad you enjoy the quick pace of the action scenes. I find those fun to write, although they can get challenging. The written medium, I find, lends itself better to dialogue and thought than action.
Date: 24 Aug 2020 14:14 Title: 41 - Nelson Mandela, 2372
Oh this sounds like a really bad idea. And there are still dozens of marines and Star Fleeters in harm's way on the moon. Things do have a way of going from bad to worse...
At least none of the characters said, "Sure... what's the worst thing that could happen?"
Good quick read that keeps the story moving at a James Bond clip.
Author's Response: Yeah, I liked the way this story ramped up the tension during the final act. Glad this resonates.
Date: 21 Aug 2020 15:23 Title: 40 - Iota Crucis IV, 2267
Favorite line: "...shouldn't be nowhere near anything more powerful than a toaster."
Still quite liking Bob Wesley - good at understanding the ethical issues but making a commmand decision when needed. He just pops off the page as a particularly well written character.
Author's Response: Wesley is a rock. Unwavering. Very much the kind of starship captain Maya aspires to be.
Date: 21 Aug 2020 14:52 Title: 39 - Nelson Mandela, 2372
Nice way to keep ramping up the tension. I particularly liked the moment of weakness for Maya.
And it looks like our new interlopers are not romulan - symmetry suggest the borg...
The words no one wants to hear: "We have a new problem..."
Author's Response: Okay, I responded to the Maya's moment of weakness in the previous comment. Oops. It's been a while since I've read this story. The Borg are just a pain. Always showing up at the most inopportune moments.
Date: 20 Aug 2020 13:58 Title: 38 - Zenith, 2372
Good description of critical command decisions and good characterizations for Maya and Holly.
I find Hugh's willingness to help interesting - just for a glimpse of Omega... He had to have some designs beyond that. Still, a few dozen borg would be quite helpful in a fight and in a retreat.
Author's Response: If I remember correctly this may have included Maya's moment of weakness. I really liked that scene because it highlights the human side of her and the fact that she hasn't been doing this kind of thing for very long. It's a lot of responsibility that rests on her shoulders and I don't think you can just turn a switch and suddenly be okay with handling it. This stuff comes with experience.
Date: 20 Aug 2020 13:48 Title: 37 - Cuffe, 2372
A black hole gambit! Nice! Not sufficient to cast Omega into a sun - has to go into the universal trash can...
Now that raises a whole host of interesting scientific and even potentially ethical questions. Black holes are handy - what goes in never comes out. Or does it?
Good technobabble explanation for why the Agamemnon can't use its tranporters. Potential plot-hole safely paved over. And an ambush to sweeten the deal.
Author's Response: That is an interesting dilemma. After all science teaches us that nothing ever disappears, it just changes form. Who knows what happens to anything that goes into a black hole? Technobabble has it uses. If nothing else, it needs to be able to fix plot holes.
Date: 20 Aug 2020 13:42 Title: 36b - Zenith, 2372
I had to break a few scenes into Part 1 and Part 2 because of their length - one of them an action packed sequence like this (Ep 16) and anther a dreadfully long if important meeting (Ep 11). Looks like you found a good breaking point. A case could be made for breaking this one into three with the battle with the queen in the middle. It's a big enough scene that it seems to deserve it's own space.
Again, despite the length a good fast read and a nice Commander's test reference drawn in real life with O'Shaugnessy.
Author's Response: Yeah, I think this could have easily have been three or more chapters. In the end, I think I just wanted to keep it as one big one to stress the urgency and continuous action here. Ad Astra forced me to split it out due to the word limit.
Date: 19 Aug 2020 15:13 Title: 36a - Zenith, 2372
I've heard of cliffhangers before, but this is the first one I've seen ending with a sentence fragment...
Good quick read even with making a full meal out of the duel (triuel?) with the warrior queen. Which was nicely paid off with a momentary weakness in the warriors.
Author's Response: Ah, no, that was not intended at all. I've only relatively recently realized that Ad Astra has a chapter word limit since I don't generally write very long chapters. This one is a bit of a beast though. Took me a minute but I managed to split it out over two chapters which should fix the issue and make the story whole again. Thanks for highlighting this
Date: 19 Aug 2020 14:41 Title: 35 - Cuffe, 2372
Never count an antagonist down until you've seen all the bodies - and then don't be too sure.
Nice additional complication and completely believable oversight.
I'm also enjoying Glover and his clearly different style from Maya and Bob Wesley.
Author's Response: Three captains, three different command styles. I'm glad I was able to show how these three very different people tackle things differently. And you can never count out the Borg. Maya and Glover are learning this the hard way.
Date: 18 Aug 2020 15:58 Title: 34 - Zenith (Iota Cruics IVd), 2372
Another good action sequence and case study of choking on the job. The best laid plans and plenty of training are no substitute for experience.
Also nice closure on the technobabble - which is hard enough to write but always fun to shut down.
Author's Response: Can't write Trek without a bit of technobabble thrown in for good measure, right?
Date: 18 Aug 2020 15:38 Title: 33 - Nelson Mandela, 2372
Good action sequence and very cinematic in visual detail for the light display. Good continuing story arc for Daystrom.
I also liked the choice to repeat the close of a previous chapter to set the reader exactly into the time and place of this sequence.
Author's Response: Thanks. There is a ton of action in this story, particularly in the closing acts. Glad you found them enjoyable. Daystrom has one of my favorite arcs in this tale.
Date: 18 Aug 2020 15:15 Title: 32 - Iota Crucis IV, 2267
Still quite enjoying Wesley and and Ketterct interacting. Good characaturization on the Xenarth - which is rather tricky with insectoids.
Ketteract is definitely a Star Trek trope - the monomaniacal scientist. Which would be exactly the type to chase Omega.
Author's Response: No excuses for Ketteract. He's the quintessentially stereotypical mad scientist we've seen in Trek and other places many times before. On the one hand it adds to give the Lexington plot line more of a TOS flavor, on the other hand, I do sometimes wish I had given him a bit more depth.
Date: 18 Aug 2020 14:38 Title: 31 - Cuffe, 2372
Nice interaction between the captains and between Glover and his XO. I'm starting to warm to Glover a little.
Handy that they can read the cloaked romulans on approach - there's nothing like the unexpected decloaking of three warbirds to ruin your day.
It seems a preponderance of both crews are young - which is an interesting contract to Wesley, who was a veteran.
Author's Response: Terence Glover is a rough around the edges, kinda guy who is sometimes hard to like. That's how DarKush wrote this character and I'm trying to follow that mold as best I can.