Date: 23 Oct 2012 15:02 Title: Chapter 25
The end! I thought it was going to be a bit bigger but then I suppose you can deal with the immediate aftermath (for the characters) in the first story of season 3. I'm surprised you didn't put that mess hall scene with the senior staff for last. I think it would have wrapped up this story better, sort of bring more meaning to the surviving main characters gathered together, remembering all those who died. It would have brought some kind of closure to these last two seasons.
As for the whole story itself, I think there were too many characters. About half a dozen of them were introduced in this story alone and I think they detracted a bit from what is a solid story. I mean the scenes with Limis, the regular characters of Lambda Paz and some of the recurring secondary ones (Jellico, that shapeshifter,...) were spot on. The introduction of Gul Latham though really worked, probably because it was another insight into the Dominion Alliance.
Aside from this you really captured the desperation of both sides during the end days of the Dominion war, and all from entirely new perspectives not seen on DS9.
All in all I would give this story four stars out of five, you wrapped up the war really well even if there were some characters (most of the new ones you introduced in this story) that were not needed. That's probably my only major criticism of this story.
I'm looking forward to the forthcoming season 3, now that you've finished the Dominion war, maybe take it easy on your characters? They need a vacation!
Author's Response: This was largely what I meant by mega-story. It was sort of like in a movie where you have the central story from a few different points of view, and those groups of characters all eventually cross paths. And most of the characters were introduced just to be killed off, but, yeah, I can probably see the personal interactions being a bit of a stretch. But I'm glad you enjoyed that it captured the general mood of the whole story.
Date: 19 Oct 2012 23:44 Title: Chapter 24
The end! I didn't expect that switch! I thought Logan was going to die but Tarlazzi did instead. To me these characters feel more secondary but I really wonder if there was a bit more to Tarlazzi's sacrifice then meets the eye.
In a way Tarlazzi is of the hook, because raising his and sh'Aqba's baby could be pretty difficult given sh'Aqba's strained relations with her people and the fact that she needs a surrogate mother to carry the baby to term. It just makes you think, was Tarlazzi really doing his partner a favour? Would it really have made the difference if Logan had stayed on board and not him?
In any case you bumped off a character and you did it in such a way that one, the character was not too vital to the series, and two, made this whole story a bit more real which will have some repercussions. Limis and Rebecca will have lost a close friend/comrade, and poor Sh'Aqba... Her lover is dead and that's what makes it so cruel: estranged from her people, lumbered with a baby she never really wanted and now this. Again, was Tarlazzi really thinking about her best interests?
It sort of reminds me of Li Nalas' death; he sacrificed himself to protect the Emissary and made a snap judgement just like Tarlazzi. Nalas said it himself; 'Off the hook... after all...'.
I'm really looking forward to how you will wrap up the ceasefire and what's next for these characters- which in itself is worth an entire story. I've said it once and I'll say it again; a reunion scene with Limis and her son would be pure gold, because Limis has been fighting for so long now that I think deep down she's suppressed a lot of emotions and bad feelings. Kudos to your series for having so much potential!
Author's Response: I hadn't considered your Li Nalas comparison. The whole sequence was based on ST:Nemesis when Picard went aboard the Scimitar first and Data followed him and sent him back before blowing up the ship. And I was certainly aiming for having someone make a heroic sacrifice. Stay tuned for the ending...
Date: 03 Oct 2012 11:40 Title: Chapter 21
Wow! The end is coming alright, I just wonder whether you're going to wrap up the final battle in one big chapter, or a series of chapters...
Aurellan and Leo make an odd couple, I don't know why but from the way I read it, it seems that Leo is almost faking his responses to Aurellan; or at least following his programming. It's ironic that Aurellan feels so passionately about this hologram when the feeling is not reciprocated but merely mimicked... I sense a moment coming when Aurellan realises this, cue a nasty argument with her holographic lover.
Author's Response: Still a ways to go before the big last battle--a few moments of personal reflection, some foreshadowing of the cost of battle. As for the odd couple, it does kind of read that way that Leo is only doing what Aurellan wants, but more to convey a sense of a more non-conventional. She makes the point in an earlier story that she has the capacity for empathy despite not demonstrating it in the conventional fashion. And that ties in with the philosophical debate over whether a computer program is no different from the humanoid brain and Leo expressing his devotion to Aurellan, not through all the sappy lovey-dovey stuff, but by placing her ahead of other patients when she had that bizarre dream even though he didn't necessarily have to.
Date: 29 Sep 2012 23:48 Title: Chapter 20
Alright! Glad Latham bumped off that Vorta hug, I wonder if Latham himself will be responsible for rallying Cardassian ships and causing them to turn against the Dominion and Breen like as seen in What You Leave Behind?
Author's Response: Stay tuned and find out.
Date: 29 Sep 2012 00:25 Title: Starship dimensions
So no comments about one of the human characters embracing some of her religious roots?
Oh yeah that, the way I see it Carson is more using this as something temporary to find some solace in the chaos of the Dominion war. It's hard to tell if this is a genuine change in her, or some stop-gap measure to cope with life.
The more interesting non-battle scene of this chapter was Limis and her son. I'm glad to see Yanith forgiving his mother. It's a good scene because despite all of Limis' pain: the occupation of Bajor she endured, the intrigue with Section 31, the butchering of the Maquis, the death of her husband, the abduction of her son, the Dominion war. There is a person in all of that, a mother trying her best to make things right, fighting not only for others but for herself for a better life.
That's why I like these humane moments of Limis', it stops her turning into some action heroine: a GI Jane, Laura Croft or that sort of thing.
I think a real opportunity for some nice drama is Limis reuniting with her son after the war ends because I suspect Yanith still has many issues with his mother, so I suspect that could be a few poignant scenes alone... Indeed such possibilities is a testament to the scope of your series for giving characters those sort of moments.
Author's Response: Okay, then. I wouldn't exactly say that was a change in Sara's character (keeping track of when Christmas and Hanukkah are celebrated on Earth). It was mostly meant as something Rebecca didn't previously know about her with a little symbolism when mentioning all the flames will go out. Funny you should mention more well-known action heroines. I envision Limis as a Sara Connor-type, strongly motivated by maternal love while going out and saving the world.
Date: 28 Sep 2012 21:12 Title: Chapter 19
I'm not so sure several thousand Dominion, Breen and Cardassian vessels would be lost to some solar eruptions. I mean they would have to be pretty close to the sun plus solar eruptions travel at sub-light speed so it would be rather easy for ships to get out of the way. Another odd thing is that if the Dominion expect the Starfleet ships to trigger some solar eruptions, why did the Dominion place so many ships close to that sun? It doesn't make any sense.
Author's Response: Did I say thousands? I should have hundreds. Remember, they triggered one solar eruption that wiped out a drydock orbiting the fourth planet. Surely, a number of ships got away, but the Dominion still suffered heavy material losses. This time, three solar eruptions were triggered. The point of the Dominion expecting such a tactic was simply to indicate that it was still successful despite bigger obstacles. That's the part of sci-fi that doesn't make much sense, so I just roll with it. One might ask, why such a tactic wasn't used more often, but I guess the answer is a desire not to endanger so many civilian lives (remember, the aftereffects of Monac Four are still being felt a year later). So no comments about one of the human characters embracing some of her religious roots?
Date: 22 Sep 2012 14:22 Title: Chapter 18
Some truly awesome scenes of dissension amongst the enemy ranks. Diralna is one nasty piece of work and you surprised even me to see the extent to which Vorta would go to control others. The Jem'Hadar insurrection is also very interesting as it seems both sides follow the same motto but have a different interpretation of it.
Author's Response: Thanks. As noted at the beginning, Diralna is based on how Kilana dressed and interacted with Sisko, so I wouldn't be surprised if female Vorta of that disposition were being used to keep Cardassian flag officers in line. As for the Jem'Hadar, I figured that dissension between Alphas and Gammas was a little too much when there already Cardassians vs. Vorta, Cardassian vs. Jem'Hadar, and Vorta vs. Jem'Hadar and with the subplot of "One Little Ship" never being followed up on. This particular story development offers some insight into the paradox of why God would give us free will if he's all-knowing. I'm guessing the Founders were looking to breed Jem'Hadar with the resourcefulness of a Starfleet officer, but as the scene with Yelgrun and the Founder indicate, these new creations may prove to be more trouble than they're worth.
Date: 01 Sep 2012 13:48 Title: Chapter 13
Love this! You explain some of the smaller details of the final stages of the war; like how the Federation and its allies could even hope to go up against 30000 ships by providing some numerical information (I'm a real stickler for that sort of thing).
Plus the characters are maturing really nicely as well, this series is almost DS9-like in how its duration so gradually develops the characters. I haven't seen any other series that does that to such an extent, so thumbs up for really fleshing out your characters because it is really satisfying to read (without it all being said and done in several stories).
Author's Response: I figured you'd enjoy that. Going in, I was hoping to address the numbers game and the strategy behind going against a force with a numerical advantage. The problem with doing a major interstellar war on a TV series is that even the most pivotal battles move along at the speed of plot, and so not being restrained by a movie-length gives one the freedom to show how fending off an enemy can be dragged out over many days in one location and to show how all people involved. Glad you enjoy how it's all tying together.
Date: 30 Jul 2012 14:46 Title: Chapter 10
Great chapter full of tension, near misses and some great personal character stuff as well. I'm really liking where this story is going and even though this stories objective is to describe how the Dominion war ended. I still don't see how the allies are going to win which is great because it only raises the stories tension.
Author's Response: Glad to see the Dominion's intention to make the allies fight for every cubic millimeter of the territory they are defending is being communicated well. Before it is all said, our heroes will experience hard-fought victories, crushing defeats, and everything in between both militarily and personally. With this chapter's second-to-last scene, I hope to leave the reader hanging with indications of at least one regular or semi-regular character being killed off.
Date: 22 Jul 2012 11:01 Title: Chapter 9
Limis doing her gungho thing again! She is one crazy woman, with each chapter this story just grows stronger and stronger.
Author's Response: Thanks. Janeway had done some crazy stuff even before being burdened with commanding a ship stuck in the Delta Quadrant. So with the Dominion War, Limis has even bigger burden considering that they eradicated the Maquis and will not go quietly. And sometimes that requires individuals on both sides to have great mental toughness and take risks that don't always pay off.