Date: 09 Aug 2013 19:26 Title: We Got to Get Out of This Place, if it's the Last Thing We Ever Do...
Really enjoyed the tale Mike. Was very fascinated by Emoni the captain. I was grabbed by the premise of the story. The secret information gathering that made the stand and fight option a no-no and made it a race to the border. Then you flipped it in short order by making them take shelter in an asteroid belt. Then get boarded. Then escape and flee to the border. All that in five chapters, covering so many different set pieces and action sequences and cycling through the different characters. You have skills with writing short stories that is for sure.
Date: 09 Aug 2013 19:11 Title: To What End?
Well I reached the end. To answer the author honestly, the XO and CO dynamic did add something to the story, though in a longer story might have had more build up and pay off. The one issue with it is that given how you wanted to write a female captain the XO pair up meant the focus shifted to Ken so we got more of Ken in the story as a person than Emoni. So in a way, you cheated on having the female captain perspective as she could have been anyone in the end as a generic character. And yet, I had started out quite liking her. She seemed tough and resolute but not cold and aloof. She was professional but personable but then when the action started she rather relegated in role and importance in the story and until the banter with Hank at the end, we lost out on some of her personality.
As a story, it is an interesting and attention grabbing short. Your shorts keep wanting me to have more from them. For example, I'd love to know the secret of the Jem'Hadar presence in ships and on board. To know if the secrets gathered by the ship had a vital importance. It feels more like a slice of the story than a full story and certain dynamics like the CO/XO relationship and command difficulties didn't get to be fully exploited.
However, like many of your shorts it is good enough to merit follow up - sequels, prequels and everything else.
Date: 09 Aug 2013 18:48 Title: We Play With Pain
It's going to be a close run thing as they jog for the border. And I love the dangling possibility that the Aggy might come to the rescue. In the meantime, it looks like there may be a greater secret stumbled upon by the Dallas in that system given the appearance of the three ships from nowhere.
Date: 09 Aug 2013 18:41 Title: Repel Boarders
Ship under siege. Lots of tense stalking down corridors. Lots of signature Mike details about command structures, marine control points, military go to procedures, all add to the authentic feel of this particular take over situation and makes it stand out. Liking it a lot.
Date: 09 Aug 2013 18:34 Title: Intruder Alert
Yipes. I expected the Jem'Hadar to show up but I hadn't counted on a boarding party. Damn. Well maybe it is the case of ending the speculation as to why the Jem'Hadar overlooked this system - they hadn't. They hadn't. They were already there. Nice turnabout. Though of course, I now see that the chapter title gives it away and given how cool it was to be surprised by it I'd consider changing the chapter titles. However, it still plays out unexpectedly.
Date: 09 Aug 2013 18:10 Title: Security in Obscurity
Ok it's a Miranda class so, you know, had to just make a comment on that. With that done, let's move on.
I am glad to see more to the Emoni/Ken relationship. It was a little throw away bit in the opening paragraph and I figured it was a Mike story so there might be more to it than an unncessary remark. Here we see how the relationship came about. We see that as they go deeper into it there's only going to be more problems with conducting business and having a relationship - which is probably why Emoni is happy to leave things as they are. Is that an easier option? Is it adhering to the Janeway code? Is it then a female captain thing? Get involved but not involved? Not sure about that, in fact I'd be uncomfortable in thinking a woman would have to think like that, however, it seems Ken himself is a little needy in terms of the relationship and is now struggling with the current status quo but not brave enough to risk discussing it lest Emoni shut it down completely.
While that felt a little bit like exposition dump, it does tie into the other QDB stories and it was interesting to learn how this came about.
The relationship is a little jarring in feeling, mostly because we don't know how Emoni feels on the situation but also because he throws the relationship into the equation when it comes to their CO/XO relationship and the decisions Emoni makes.
It seems it is a running argument, one that Ken hasn't won but he can't seemingly accept Emoni's and Command's orders. "Damn it, Ken. I'm tired of having to go over our orders with you every time you decide you want to prove that you have a bigger penis than the other guy." When she says this to him, he gets offended and hurt and yet this displays the fact that Emoni seems to have to go over their orders. They're orders and Ken should know better and accept that. He's the bleeding XO.
In fact, he's a bit bleeding rich. He even comes out with, "Look, Emoni, I don't think we should be relaxing our guard here." Yeah, I'll tell you this after shagging you while the grieving, short staffed, engineering crew, are working their butts off to get the ship back on line! He's got a gall. For a guy seemingly liked quickly by the crew I think he's a little petulant, spoilt and immature.
Maybe he was better officer material before the war. Maybe his good humour made him a welcome relief from everything else but he's XO now and has to grow up some here. He seems to want to play action hero and go out in a blaze of glory. Fine, if their job was to fight and hold the line. But their job is to get the information and get it back to Starfleet Intelligence. He's forgetting completely the intelligence bit when it comes to his own part.
Meantime, although Emoni remains aloof from the reader, I like her. As for Senior Chief Whitaker, I love the set up of him.
Date: 09 Aug 2013 17:46 Title: We Got to Get Out of This Place, if it's the Last Thing We Ever Do...
EEEE. What an opener. You played a blinder. Bad pun aside, I really liked the tense action of the scene. Again, it is all played from within the bridge perspective and it lends to the tense atmosphere, to almost claustrophic feel as they are relentlessly pursued and hunted down by the Jem'Hadar.
I also enjoyed the fact that the move was not triumphed as some major new tactic. Just a tactic long learned by Emoni and now imparted knowledge to a newer officer. There's a few other juicy details that make me like this. The image of conducting the repairs EVA in the midst of an asteroid is one I'm playing with presently and I love just how you deal with it from a captain talking to a chief all business like you manage to conjure that image up in that simple framing device alone. There's also the quick introdcution to characters - though the Kirk one did take me out of the story at first mention and even the following explanation did so too - so beyond that I wonder if there's anything more to his name. Meantime, I squee at the mention of Hank and rhe Agememnon.
Date: 23 Mar 2009 13:22 Title: To What End?
LOL! I found this one to be touching and somewhat tenderly endearing. Ken's position is usually the one for a female character -- just laws of the genre, I presume. It was refreshing to see him developing deeper feelings and going through all those natural mazes of emotions. As a chain-of-command romance, this story totally wins. It's realistic, yet not cynical and not melodramatic. It's very clear that duty comes first and everything else later. And during a war, such attitude is probably the only one advisable.
It was bittersweet to see the usual gap of misunderstanding opening, when a casual conversation might be misinterpreted and lead to a fargone conclusion, of which the other party would be totally unaware of. People usually say that that's because men are from Mars and women are from Venus, but the truth is, just two different minds is enough to create a miscommunication, sad as it might be.
As a female captain, Emoni rocks. :-D No, really. She strikes me as a curious mix of qualities attributed to both Kathryn Janeway and Jadzia Dax, and also quite a share of her own. She comes in as a little bit too forceful at times, perhaps, but it also rings true. Women doing what had been considered men's jobs for centuries often tend to overcompensate. I believe it would still be true three hundred years from now.
I loved how well developed the rest of the crew is. While maintaining your focus, you bring the rest of them in and give everyone a moment to shine. I was touched particularly by Lieutenant Kirk's misfortunes (starting with his name, obviously) and a reappearance of the medical hologram. It's nice to know those are well distributed. ;-)
Despite the thrill of the action and breathtaking reality of the battles, I'd still call this one lovely. ;-)
This was the second most requested story in The Quarterdeck Breed for a sequel story. The first was Agamemnon.
I guess Emoni resonated with a lot of readers, in particular the way she handles herself and Ken. She's aware of his aims to win her heart, but she's also aware that with a war on, it makes little sense to invest any more than you have to, especially when the officer is your direct subordinate.
Thanks for reading!