Date: 21 Jul 2020 18:14 Title: Who Saves the Saviors?
The original Star Trek series (and the brilliant Prime Directive) were conceived and written during the Cold War when the US was getting involved in brushfire wars all over the planet as proxy wars with the USSR (who were equally embroiled). Vietnam was the worst for the US, Afghanistan for the USSR. Both wars taught civilized Cold Warriors, schooled in the Geniva Conventions, the savagry of tribal wars and made monsters of them.
In STNG, Picard remarked that the Prime Directive was put in place "as much to protect us as them..."
Prime Directive stories rock and this one manages to do so in less than 3,000 words - nicely done!
Author's Response: That's some really interesting context around the Prime Directive I don't think we consider much these days. It remains rather controversial and perhaps sometimes its application doesn't appear to make a great deal of sense. But I agree that at its core its a really good concept and it certainly gives us a lot of storytelling fodder. Glad you liked this one.
Date: 15 Dec 2013 19:30 Title: Who Saves the Saviors?
The road to hell is paved with good intentions and this story seem to show why the Prime Directive exists, it so easy to think that you have the answers to spare bloodshed like Amaya. Only to find the truth is much harsher.
This is an excellent story CeJay and your characters seem believable in their action and responses. You show without going to graphic how two federation starship crews with the dominion war fresh in their mind could be fool into helping the settlers against the nomad tribes, especially when they see a school of children shelled.
I can bet Admiral Throi will have a lot to say when he read what ever report the two Captains end up submitting to command.
Well done that is a thoughtful short story that flows well.
Author's Response: Thanks for reading. I think the Dominion War is key here. I like using it as an excuse for people behaving in ways they ordinarily wouldn't. But I think war does that. I scars people both consciously and subconsciously and sometimes you start believing what you want to believe. That, I think was Owens and Donners greatest mistake.
Date: 12 Dec 2013 00:51 Title: Who Saves the Saviors?
That was depressing, but well written. Interesting to see a world crumbling like that, fighting over scraps. Reminds me of dystopian Earth literature. And while I could sort of see Tulur's betrayal coming, I liked that the smooth talking politician was the most vicious one of all, underneath the shiny exterior. Just like real-life politics. Nice job.
Author's Response: Thanks. And the lesson of this story: Never trust a handsome, smooth talking leader who sees himself as a liberator. One would think Donners and Owens had watched enough movies to know that.
Date: 29 Aug 2013 15:42 Title: Who Saves the Saviors?
As I read this story, I thought of Viet Nam and of Iraq. It starts as 'advisors', and then the advisors get guns, and then they get tanks and bombs and choppers. And it stops being about quick peace and becomes about a quick war and then about a not so bad war and then it's a quagmire and the group with the advisors is trying to keep their own casualties down and not go down with the sinking ship. It turns into the evacuation and then fall, of Saigon. Or it turns into Saddam Hussein, who is propped up for a while, and then, not.
One thing that troubled me was how quickly Owens bought into it. For him, he should have been the voice of reason. Frankly, I saw the bombing of the school and I immediately suspected the Settlers. Maybe I'm just a cynic, but it was a little too convenient that it happened right there and that way. It was instant justification for interference, and that to me puts the blame squarely on Tulur. And then (I am trying not to give away spoilers here) his later actions show his stripes and really convinced me of his complicity. Even if he and his people didn't plant the bomb, they did make it clear to the remainder of the planet that Starfleet was coming. And then it's set up wonderfully for just such an attack (sort of like the revisionist view of Pearl Harbor, if you will).
Donners comes across as a bit naive and, while compassionate, also easily seduced. Not every officer is going to be perfect and that makes sense here and I believe you show it well. It is the kind of behavior that will likely result in court martials for her and Owens, and someone with the benefit of hindsight will be demanding to know why they didn't verify, why they didn't try one last time to negotiate, why they didn't make one last effort to stave off involvement.
Hell, why they didn't just beam out of there from the beginning.
Also, isn't Owens supposed to run this by his superiors first? That'll get him in Dutch, too. They both may be lucky if they avoid prison - and they might not.
Interesting and thought-provoking, as always.
Author's Response: Thank you for this detailed and comprehensive review. First of all, guilty as charged. Vietnam and other wars were playing heavily on my mind when I wrote this. I like to explore quagmires whenever I can. Nothing more interesting, to me, than good intentions gone to hell. In my defense, this story suffers from its word limit. As it was an entry to a writing challenge, I had to be brief. And I'm admittedly not a master at brevity. That's probably why things feel a little rushed here and if I'd had more words to play with, I probably would've preferred a much more gradual build up, getting the characters sucked into this at a slower and more believable pace. Both Owens and Donners are likely going to face repercussions from their decisions here but considering that they are both Star Eagle protagonists, I doubt they'll lose their commands over this. Call it poetic license.
Date: 11 Jul 2013 20:54 Title: Who Saves the Saviors?
Again, this fell right into the types of stories I like to read. When are good, morally correct intentions the wrong thing to do? Sometimes they go awry not because of what we do, but because of what the people we are trying to help do. Much as we'd like to be able to spare others the horror of war, sometimes that's what it takes for them to decide on their own that that path will only lead to the destruction of both sides. Very thought-provoking piece, CeJay. I hope Command takes into account the extenuating circumstances of the recent Dominion War, and how it influenced the decisions Donners and Owens made.
Author's Response: Morality interest me as well and of course has been part of the Star Trek universe since its conception. And you're right, things get the most interesting when that line begins to blur. Hopefully that dilemma came across here. Thanks for reading.
Date: 11 Jul 2013 19:49 Title: Who Saves the Saviors?
Wow. A hard lesson for Donners. Owens has an excellent set of instincts, and I like that you didn't take any magical ways out and make it all happy, hunky dory at the end. Very true to life in that sense CeJay, and in the best of Trekkian tradition, you draw a strong, poignant allegory to the real world around us right now. Very, very well done.
Author's Response: Thank you very much, glad it resonated with you. And yes, sometimes life is messy and we make poor decisions and I think this is true in Starfleet just like anywhere else.