Date: 18 Sep 2020 11:59 Title: Day Three: The Big Sleep: VI
Nice characterization of Clancy and a good start on the scientific method for crime solving. Very interesting that there is a pattern of bruising over a period of time and not just something that happened at the time of the murder.
The plot thickens...
Date: 17 Sep 2020 13:38 Title: Day Three: The Big Sleep: V
Very intersting moment of vulnerability for the captain and first officer and an unexpected growth moment for their relationship. Also interesting that he considers a broken officer as he describes Nora to be his responsibility.
This does seem to be a very contentious lot compared to the crew I'm fielding, but there is a difference in age. This is a young crew with a lot of personal growth issues to deal with and not a lot of seasoned officers to help them through it or provide the boundaries elders usually provide. Which is common in military service - very much tracks with the way my father described his service in the US Navy (which he said stands for Never Again Volunteer Yourself.)
I also picked up on your reference to JAG in the previous chapter having an investigative role - which also tracks as we both present Star Fleet as not having a military police arm, meaning that JAG would have to fill that role as well.
Date: 17 Sep 2020 13:26 Title: Day Three: The Big Sleep: IV
And nothing like a little military discipline in an organization that is historically uncomfortable with the military side of its role. Your characters are very distinct and individual - particularly your leads.
Nice character development on Star as well as Nora. Assigning an officer as a watcher is bound to go over well with someone who doesn't like being interfered with. I have an instinct that Clancy is going to turn out to be very helpful in spite of his inauspicous introduction.
Date: 17 Sep 2020 13:12 Title: Day Three: The Big Sleep: III
I'm enjoying the character development accompanying the adventure - in this case of Srena. Interesting how many similar themes we are both using. An andorian pilot will be added to the Hunter's crew in Ep 13 and a rogue planet in Ep 16... And then there's the ring structure..
A crash landing cliff hanger..
Author's Response: Talking about Trek tropes, right? A shuttle crash landing? How many of those have we seen over the years. Oh well, still a perfectly valid story-telling device in my humble opinion.
Date: 15 Sep 2020 13:16 Title: Day Three: The Big Sleep: II
Nice exploration of Nora's inner insecurities. Also very nice crime-solving procedure - scanning the scene for later reproduction in the holodeck. It's not just for recreation anymore.
I think the series overused the holodeck for recreation and underused them for science. Very nice to see them used this way.
Also a good call on the poor procedure used when turning off the internal sensors. The chief of security should be the first notified. That's an oversight on the part of the 1st officer. And I knew that was going to bite them in the blubber...
Author's Response: Holodecks just have so many possible applications, right? Way more than we have likely seen on screen. It certainly makes perfect sense for a criminal investigation. It's actually a bit surprising that Nora actually thought of this considering her shortcomings in this field. I suppose it's in the rule book on how to deal with violent crimes as a Starfleet security officer.
Date: 15 Sep 2020 12:39 Title: Day Three: The Big Sleep: I
Several implications in the subtitle "the Big Sleep" (which reminds me of a song by Simple Minds by that name).
It looks like sleep issues and possibly sleep walking may become part of this story and might be a way in for outside forces.
And an onboard murder to kick it off with.. Definitely a page turner.
Author's Response: The chapter names in this story are all borrowed from crime novels, although the Big Sleep may be even better known as a classic film noir starring Humphrey Bogart and of course it refers to the the kind of sleep you never wake up from again. But yeah, sleep is a theme here. Thanks for the kind words.
Date: 14 Sep 2020 13:07 Title: Day Two: The Getaway: VI
Having nothing but a half-foot of metal and a new-fangled em field between you and deadly radiation is excitement enough...
Very fun obersvations on proper vulcan wheedling. Again, very interesting to have a group of non-humans interacting - although the tactical officer is half-human.
Of course that disturbance is likely to turn out to be... disturbing.
Author's Response: Disturbances are never a good sign in Trek, we know this.
Date: 10 Sep 2020 18:30 Title: Day Two: The Getaway: V
Very interesting interaction between Deen and Owens. A little surprising that Deen strongly supports Star, but it's solid advice and a surprising blind spot for the captain. Which is a common failure of leadership - the halo effect.
Author's Response: Deen pretty much sees the best in every person she meets. She is quite quintessentially the eternal optimist. But you are right about Owens. Star is a huge blind spot for him, and one he has not dealt with very well up to this point.
Date: 10 Sep 2020 18:17 Title: Day Two: The Getaway: IV
Both Star and Katanga are very rich characters with a lot of backstory. This chapter is one of my favorites so far largely for that reason. Both have unique speaking styles that convey a sense of reality to them. It is all too easy to have characters who speak and think too much alike - all the more so because as we associate with a small circle of friends that tends to happen naturally.
Author's Response: And Katanga and Star are some of my favorite characters, so really happy you liked this reunion of sorts and that you picked up on their hopefully unique voices.
Date: 09 Sep 2020 16:01 Title: Day Two: The Getaway: III
Managing finicky scientists is always a test.. and she had better read that entire report. Something in it is bound to become critical within the next 7 days...
Intersting background details on Tazla that I haven't come across in my future reading. I'm sure they will become important to this story.
Author's Response: Tazla has a significant backstory. You can find more about her in "Star-Crossed" followed by Eagle 3 (a massive novel which is no on Ad Astra presently). But there is plenty of detail in this novel as well.
Date: 09 Sep 2020 15:55 Title: Day Two: The Getaway: II
Katanga is one of my favorite of your characters. He alway pops off the page. Veterans are fun that way - accretions of personaity.
Author's Response: Really glad you like Katanga. He's definitely one of my favorite characters to write.
Date: 09 Sep 2020 15:51 Title: Day Two: The Getaway: I
Fortunately for the humorless vulcans frustration is also not in their repitore..
Interesting interaction between two very different crew members. Good technobabble as well. So I sense a shuttle trip in the offing?
Author's Response: Yeah, there is a reason this part is titled the Getaway. It's not quite as impressive as the technobabble in Hunter, but you know, I give it a good try.
Date: 08 Sep 2020 16:57 Title: Day One: Farewell, My Lovely: IV
"250,000 kilometers," said Milestone. - the pun may have been unintentional but amusing nonetheless.
Yeah - taking down internal sensors is definitely going to lead to some issues. And something it totally up when you lose time sleeping.
Nice introduction of a few creepy elements that will bear fruit later. I also enjoyed the visual descriptions of the nebula and particularly the crisp description of Rosenthal. I can picutre him very clearly - which is part of the enjoyment of meeting these sorts of characters.
Author's Response: Another lucky accident here. I bet I never even noticed the pun until now.
Date: 08 Sep 2020 02:31 Title: Day One: Farewell, My Lovely: III
There are actually two chapters here - a ceremony and a relationship story.
Ceremony is difficult to write. They come off as awkward, overplanned, speechy - but this is actually true to life. Ceremonies are all of those things and they are almost never comfortable, natural affairs. This one has that lifelike awkwardness and spontinaity.
The relation moment is interrupted by misgivings about time travel and alternate timelines - which is prologue considering I've read the other end of this story. And I'm a huge fan of foreshadowing. All of that makes the development of the love story awkward and uncomfortable - but that is also true to life. Most people don't do it smoothly. We're awkward and uncertain in those moments.
Author's Response: True, sometimes I merge things together when I think it might make sense. Funny story, the foreshadowing in this chapter is entirely organic. I'd love to admit that I had Quantum Divergence already fully planned out when I wrote this, but that is not at all the case. Funny how things work out sometimes.
Date: 03 Sep 2020 15:06 Title: Day One: Farewell, My Lovely: II
Nice intro for Dr. Katanga and an interesting read on one of the many different morality positions regarding single parenthood, unplanned sex, unplanned pregnancy and ethical issues around parenthood.
A lot to unpack in a short chapter.
Author's Response: Thanks, glad you enjoyed it.
Date: 03 Sep 2020 13:59 Title: Day One: Farewell, My Lovely: I
It was a dark and stormy night - classic open - all the more for being excised from the Bard.
Interesting open. I recall an Original Series episode that opened with Shakespear and ended up a little more than a murder mystery.
Gratifying to see an older crewman as the lead actor with younger officers in supporting roles.
Author's Response: Steer away from talking about the weather when opening a story. It's not the only writing rule I'm sure I've broken. Although in this case, I can always blame Shakespeare. Star Trek has a long love story with the Bard, and I've kept that going in Star Eagle Adventures. And yes, Eagle does have older crewmembers. But I've fallen into the ageist trap too. There are probably not many, and besides Katanga and technically Xylion, they're probably all enlisted personnel.
Date: 15 Jul 2014 16:48 Title: Day Five: Presumed Innocent: VII
“Do you think I am esthetically pleasing, Xylion?” LOL
And the lines from Leva about dry spells. Loving the humour of this whilst maintaining the mystery and a lingering sense of malovence around the planet's inhabitants. Seems the crew are going to have no option about staying (or in Xylion's case, getting married).
Author's Response: She's laying it on thick, ain't she? Glad you enjoyed the humor here even if Deen and co are probably not as amused about the Vulcans' plans.
Date: 15 Jul 2014 16:43 Title: Day Five: Presumed Innocent: VI
Love it. Waiting for some CSI type stuff and Katanga shows up with the goods. I love the science trek babble behind everything here - the dust and dust mites and the ship being swept by beams, etc. All good nods to continuity and fanon but the details as told by Katanga make it colourful and interesting. Hee, hee, the Doc is fun, colourful and interesting addition to proceedings. And now a new little twist. (Is Rosenthal blonde?)
Author's Response: You gotta have a bit of forensics in a murder investigation, right? Okay, it ain't CSI: Outer Space but I'm glad it all made sense to you. I also liked the opportunity to for once an for all explain why Starfleet ships are so damned clean all the time. I mean seriously, it's like they have a whole team going through the ship with dusters 24/7. I think my explanations makes a little bit more sense. (No, Rosenthal is not blonde).
Date: 15 Jul 2014 16:37 Title: Day Five: Presumed Innocent: V
I'm calling it a The Cage type scenario here, me thinks cos this is all just a bit too weird. And as Deen's conversation went, the rogue planet astronomical chances of oh so just about perfect conditions for life are too odd. That said, it remains plausible and I do like the scientific reasoning behind a lot of it, adding a nice TOS/sci fi feel to things it has to be said. But hunting screaming Vulcans who eat Buffalo? Huh? Some thing is up. Great stuff.
Author's Response: Well, they certainly aren't your garden variety Vulcans. That much is for sure.
Date: 15 Jul 2014 16:30 Title: Day Five: Presumed Innocent: IV
I liked Colcord for this myself. I hadn't quite suspected a personal motivation. Again though Nora is remiss in dismissing any enquiry into Hopkins. It's sad but she's loosing face here for me. Which is great because I believe characters should rise and fall to a reader's eye because it shows their story isn't linear and that they are more than a two-dimensional figure. And again, it stands to reason that she should falter somewhat in this duty as she's not trained for it specifically and not best suited for the task - however much it may gall to hear that.
Also, Nora has a habit of showing her hand too much. She pins Colcord with the charge of being prime suspect. Never seems to be a smart move by the coppers on the small screen. But I do like that she uses some of her strengths, knowing the strengths of ships and their abilities to pin an investigative lead into Colcord's call for a different ship to take the mission. It's a manner of redeeming her some in this investigation.
Author's Response: Yeah, Nora is most definitely wearing blinders here and Clancy is very much aware of this. It of course all comes back to her inexperience, as does her tactic of confronting Colcord with all the evidence she has straight away. Clearly not a move she had previously discussed with her investigative partner. But it's not really just inexperience, I think loyalty plays a big role here as well. She has served with people like Hopkins for a long time, has lived with her for years at the Academy, and generally has a big sister complex, where she feels like she needs to protect those who seem weaker than her (so basically everyone) from those seeking to do them harm. Even if it is the truth.
Date: 15 Jul 2014 16:18 Title: Day Five: Presumed Innocent: III
What the heck!!! Well things have certainly taken a different turn. Lif seemed under the control of some force. The Nebula? The Vulcans? Definitely something very screwy going on here. Damned intriguing it is too.
Love Star. She's so perfectly flawed. From petty little actions and behaviours. To trying to pick a fight over niggly little matters to letting others slide like Aliris' dresscode because it sorta gets back at the captain. Huh. Petty, petty, petty. And she knows it too. However, I love it. Plus, she shows a certain loyalty to Katanga by sticking up for him by letting Aliris infringement of the dresscode slide. And she gives Owens credit for the way he handled her even if peeved at the end result and his lacking of trust. And that's the rub for her really. It seems she wants to be this better person and to be a better officer, heck her concern is a spy on board the ship overriding everything, but when things don't pan out she resorts to some of her less flattering attributes and traits.
Author's Response: I'm glad you enjoy Star here. I think she may be one of the most human characters I've ever written. Yeah, I know she ain't human but, well, you know what I mean. As you point out, she's flawed. Not just in her actions but also, sometimes, the way she thinks about certain things. If we are totally honest with ourselves, we sometimes think just like that, I believe. Sometimes we do little petty things not because we're evil or mean but because we can, or because they seem to make a certain sense to us, even if it is in a twisted kinda way.
Date: 15 Jul 2014 16:07 Title: Day Five: Presumed Innocent: II
Hee, hee. Ok, I ended up loving this chapter. At the start, I wasn't sure. It was beginning to feel like a recap moment (although I suppose that's no bad thing) and in fairness it fits with the genre style. But it quickly became more interesting when we started seeing something of the interaction between Nora and Clancy.
“Could there be a softer core underneath that tough shell of yours?”
She shook her head. “No, just more toughness.”
Hee, hee. And there were a good few other quotable quotes too. Then, onto the scene steps Star and at what an opportune moment (one wonders did she stand outside waiting to see if she'd get mentioned as a suspect). Made for some very sparky moments with Star and Nora, and then back to more Clancy wittisms.
Of note to the investigation however is the fact that Nora isn't willing to investigate those closest and nearest to her. That's a bit of a lapse on her part. And although she professes to knowing Hopkins, to my mind, Hopkins always tended to keep herself secreted away and a low profile. So how much does one really know about her. Hmmm...
Author's Response: You can't have a murder investigation without people looking at a board with suspects. That's crime procedural 101 and I obviously and shamefully lifted out of about a gazillion TV shows. But I also understood early on that a good crime story needs a compelling investigative team. And what's more compelling that two very different kind of people trying to work together? But what's with those sinister views you attribute to poor Hopkins? She's just a nice quiet and shy woman who means nobody no harm. Just ask Nora, she'll tell ya straight.
Date: 15 Jul 2014 15:44 Title: Day Five: Presumed Innocent: I
Intriguing! Xylion's date oh and the little hippy farm Vulcan settlement thing too. Actually, really liked the details about the settlement. They were scant but enough to imbue a feel for the place and to get us hooked into how life must have panned out for these colonists over the last 21 years. All assuming of course that this is true and not some mirage, trick or all in the mind of one of the shuttle crew (which would be such a cruel thing to do to your readers). It is mightily interesting and I really don't know where you are headed with this.
Author's Response: Could it all be in Xylion's head? Maybe he got knocked out when the shuttle crashed and this is his fantasy dream. Hmm, there's an idea for story right there.
Date: 15 Jul 2014 14:55 Title: Day Four: The Woman in White: VI
The other thing I should mention and it clearly came up again in this chapter is how you lend the appropriate feel to a starship the size of a Nebula class. There's no pretense at everyone knowing everyone else. Nora is seen checking up on the padd for details. Sierra has to recognised as Miranda in the play. The fact that the rumour mill hasn't quite gotten around to Sierra and her learning about Geda's death. It all lends to the feel of a massive starship with a crew of nearly a thousand. I like that sense of realism. Sometimes in fanfics that is not taken into account on larger crewed ships and it seems as if everybody knows everyone else.
Author's Response: Thanks. I always liked the idea of a starship acting almost like a city in space. In Eagle's case it's probably more accurate to call it a village. The size in turn allows me to write stories like this murder mystery which probably wouldn't work very well on a small escort or frigate. Don't get me wrong, I very much appreciate Trek stories set on smaller ships, like yours and TLR's excellent Border Service tales but if you go for scale, you better take it to its logical conclusion.
Date: 15 Jul 2014 14:49 Title: Day Four: The Woman in White: VI
Damn! Did that girl go and put some blame on Wenera!? Sorry, I took that with some umbrage but hey my Wenera has gone through a bloody enough of recent. Gees. But man, Geda is a player and it only adds to the list of suspects. Perhaps this really is some sort of domestic passionate affair type deal. I really figure it for something more political but you might just be pulling a right fool on me.
Very interesting ... I don't know ... but I could have sworn Sierra was about to reveal something else there. Like that Geda had just been there. Hmmm. Something is off about her behaviour in certain ways.
Meantime, I noted how Nora took more of a backseat in this interview, allowing Clancy to take more of a lead. Is it because she thinks he has a better handle on it because she doesn't trust herself or perhaps she noted that Clancy did seem to have a way of getting this suspect to talk without knocking heads. He seemed to have a deft way of reading Sierra and adjusting to fit the situation to get her to talk. He's beginning to show some of his professional skill sets here in this investigation.
Author's Response: Yeah, I think Nora is realizing that Clancy is a lot better at dealing with people than she ever will. Little surprise there for people who know Nora Laas. I think without him in that room, she wouldn't have gotten much out of Decaux in the first place and she's beginning to see that. I appreciate your loyalty to Wenera. Clearly Decaux doesn't know her half as well as you do.