Date: 15 Sep 2011 15:20 Title: Gage
Ooooh! Intriguing mission. I like it. I like the gradual reveal of it and how Grayum is slowly teased and excited about the possibility of earning his next pip. I wonder just how complicated it is going to get, after all, they are dealing with the Breen and with a Romulan liaison. Should prove to be very interesting.
Also of interest is the airing of differences between Halley and James. It seems he actually enjoyed a little more success with reforming the ship by winning the support of Halley, who could have been his greatest opponent. There's a slight frisson between the pair but it proved interesting to see them both try to reach a middle ground with one another. Though in the end, the middle was closer to James than it was to Halley.
I also really liked the lingo you used throughout - Guardian Six, X-Ray mission, etc - and in addition to the flavour you give the Border Patrol it all proves to be a great setting, tough and a bit rough. Great stuff Mike.
Date: 15 Sep 2011 15:00 Title: Reporting for Duty
Boys oh boys. James has really landed in the land of Oz as far as his comfort zone is. The crew is casual - very casual - and James is prim and proper. I doubt any ambitions he has to reform the ship are going to be accepted or successful. I can see the ship rubbing off on James - Rick - sooner. But what a gang of crew we have here. From the uptight Rick, the charming Betazoid flyboy, a rather poor looking Captain, a sexy yeoman and a fuming Halley demoted from acting Exec. It all makes for a very interesting dynamic among the crew and some interesting potentials for trouble.
As usual with your stories Mike, I'm always impressed by the lived in feel of the ship, the sense of routine and a military/naval setting. In addition to that, we get a whirlwind introduction to the crew that is effective and sets up promising potentials for how their story will pan out.
Date: 26 Jun 2009 08:43 Title: Reporting for Duty
It's not difficult to see from the beginning that Commander James has his work cut out for him. From the averting eyes of the chief petty officer to the casual indifference that gives way to an unbearable hostility for Lieutenant Gage, it's clear that this ship will be filled with trials for our protagonist. Yet, there are still shimmering glimpses of hope, such as the ensign serving as the de facto officer of the watch and the Captain's yeoman. Never-the-less, Commander James is clearly out of his element.
This story seems representative of the 'truth' behind the often idealized nature of Starfleet. At the same time, Commander James also realizes his own misconception of Starfleet's idealism.
Even away from the deepest reaches of space, on an assignment "close to home", ships and captains can be as different as night and day.
Great story! Enjoyed reading.
Date: 23 Mar 2009 02:23 Title: Second Officer's Log
I liked the story a lot. I must admit that sometimes I find it difficult to become atuned to characters from expanded universes, or stay in touch with the action/adventure unfold. But this story is written so well, makes so much sense and is so engaging that I couldn't stop reading once I started. It is, like you say, from that very first paragraph, that one gets inevitably pulled into the storyline and eventually caught up with the plot.
I liked the immediate conflict, for there's hardly a better way to create instant tension and intrigue, right from the start. We don't know much about anything yet, but already one cannot help but start asking questions -- why is there sucn animosity? What prompts that attitude? Etc. I also loved the way it was handled technically -- no lengthy descriptions, just an easy and natural flow of the character's thoughts, which sound very real and fitting for each situation.
There are slight POV shifts in some chapters, but it's not confusing. Hardly my place to compliment the language, but I very much enjoyed the well-balanced pacing, with no pitfalls and acceleration in all the correct moments. The prose itself is flowing and acts as an intangible assitant to the plot, as well it should be.
Also, I have newly discovered a great deal of sympathy towards the Romulans in general, so one so charming was a cherry on the top here for me. ::grins:: Your description of her reminded me a lot of the one from Nemesis. That one was a beauty. ;-)
Thank you for thoroughly enjoyable read! If I may ask, though, perhaps you can recall how much time did it take you to write this story? I'm just curious. ;-)
Agamemnon kind of wrote itself, actually. Way back in 2002, when I had finished the last three parts to my alternate universe novella, "The Misadventures of January McKenna," I had a lot of free time during my graveyard shifts working for PayPal in their network operations center. I think it maybe took two nights to do the first draft and about a week for revisions before I was ready to release it on Fanfiction.net. The version on Ad Astra is actually a more recent revision from 2007, because I intended to format all of The Quarterdeck Breed stories for eBook release by request and I never actually got around to doing that.
If you liked Agamemnon, you may also like the 'sequel' novella I'm working on, called "The Sacrifice of Agamemnon," which the first chapter is already here on Ad Astra.
Thanks so much for reading and I'm really glad you enjoyed the story!
Date: 23 Feb 2009 22:40 Title: First Officer's Log
I love it. Where in the heck did you come up with that name.
I like the fact that two weeks had passed and the changes that James has been trying to make are starting to take hold. I did not care being stationed on ships that had a lack of protocol. So, trust me, I know here the XO in your story is coming from.
And its good to see HALLEY warming to him somewhat.
The whole segment about crew rotations is dead on right. I can't tell you how many times we left Pearl or we left San Diego and we didn't have certain key slots filled. It can affect the entire chain structure.
Halley had problems with James and now with the Romulan. She doesn't seem to like new comers into her little world. I cant help thinking there is more to her than just a woman with a short fuse...
Any way, after three parts I am really liking this story. You rich character development is what makes this story a keeper!!!
On to Part four!!!
Well, khre'Arrain is the Rihannsu translation of Lieutenant Commander (according to Diane Duane). I tend to subscribe to her interpretation of the Romulan language and the whole ch'Rihan and ch'Havran idea. S'Task and all that was very good, especially in context of the Separation of the Romulan and Vulcan people.
Glad you're liking it. :) Thanks for reading!
Date: 23 Feb 2009 12:05 Title: Gage
I don't know, I haven't read the entire story, but I actually think you should have Gage and James fall in love!!!...way down the line. BUt it has the earmarks to happen!!!
The best part of this story is by far the 'new' characters. I have only read two parts now, but they are becoming more three-dimensional each time I read...
Who would you cast in their roles???
Anway, the mission with the Breen sounds cool since it also involves Romulan officers aboard the ships with Cloaking Devices. Are you going to have a Romulan officer become a main character? Or just background?
The funny thing is, I get more t'Aimne/James shippers than Gage/James. But I don't think you've gotten to that part yet.
Thanks for reading!
Date: 23 Feb 2009 11:56 Title: Reporting for Duty
Ummm...I like this story. I had the pleasure of checking in and checking off of several ships in my time in the Navy, and I felt right at home here.
These original characters of yours REALLY click on all thrusters. They are each well defined. Made it easy to read that way. Not sure how the XO is going to fit in, and that will be no doubt part of the draw of this story!
You are off to a great start with this!!!!
Thanks for reading, Rob. I was going for that feel of an officer bopping around the fleet, on the fast track to command.