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Reviewer: CeJay Signed [Report This]
Date: 30 Aug 2013 09:33 Title: Duels -- Blades

Hell of a fight, that one. And it looks like Ryaenn did have another agenda other than entertain her crew with a good fight. The way she had advertised the event, I did think that there had to be more to this than met the eye. Quite shrewd of her. Maybe an interest in taking up martial arts, of any kind, would do this underachieving crew good. Not to mention the tactical value should they ever find themselves in a tough spot.

Reviewer: CeJay Signed [Report This]
Date: 25 Aug 2013 18:16 Title: Duels -- Challenges

Gage is a bit of a slimy character but I suppose Ryaenn does have a bit of a tendency to remind everyone around her of her past and the ordeal she has been through. That, in itself may be the most sure fire sign that she hasn't fully gotten over it. Then of course, this is not an experience one gets over easily, if ever.

And now comes the duel. The way Ryaenn has promoted this event amongst the crew, this better live up to the hype or the captain may end up making herself look like a fool. Something tells me that won't happen.

Reviewer: CeJay Signed [Report This]
Date: 25 Aug 2013 03:44 Title: Duels -- Dances

Ameren clearly has some chauvinistic tendencies and is clearly not quite Starfleet material, considering his antics. I'm curious to find out if this is going to create any conflict between him and his captain down the line. He is clearly not endearing himself to many in this crew.

Reviewer: CeJay Signed [Report This]
Date: 24 Aug 2013 14:04 Title: Duels -- Meditations

Ah, T'Vala was a bit of a mystery to me before even though I did suspect that she was beginning to accept her new captain more than some of the others.

Now I do think she'll make a fine ally to Ryaenn. And who knows, maybe a bit of the captain will even rub off on her.

Reviewer: SLWalker Signed [Report This]
Date: 18 Aug 2013 23:07 Title: Duels -- Blades

Whew! That is, indeed, a chilling end. But I don't think it calls her into question, myself. I mean, just speaking of personal experience, life's not pretty. It's not sparkly. We do what we have to in order to survive it, and sometimes that means getting down and mean. I had to. She had to. I get it. And, tellingly enough, I also go for a killing blow though I'm learning how not to as I go. Hopefully, she'll learn the same; there is a time for it, and a time not to. But otherwise, she's perfectly understandable.

Tellingly, Bux has opinions, but isn't in there fighting himself. Pfft. Anyway, an excellent addition to your tales of Cyste Ryaenn, and her someday-to-be-intrepid crew. Engaging and quick and fun to read; lots of gorgeous details to chew on, lots of awesome cast work.

Reviewer: SLWalker Signed [Report This]
Date: 18 Aug 2013 22:55 Title: Duels -- Forms

I love the history you infuse here. You manage a look into a culture that's easily stereotyped, and make it both beautiful and elegant, like their fighting forms. The little details, the deference, the way they treat each other with such courtesy is good for the soul. And also makes me want to slap around Atlee and Bux, but go figure. Even so, I absolutely look forward to reaching more.

And it was nice to see her beauty as a woman acknowledged, as well. Yes, she's a survivor, she's tough, she's got blades, but she's a woman, too.

Reviewer: SLWalker Signed [Report This]
Date: 18 Aug 2013 22:40 Title: Duels -- Challenges

Whew! Sparks fly in more than one way. Poor Ryan. Ouch. And Ryaenn here, her spiritual and perhaps literal successor. Amazing stuff. I loved the Caitian v. Rylek duel there, that was awesome, as was their camaraderie at the end of it, recognizing the skills of the other. I like that Ryaenn complimented that ferocity; it's sorely needed in the Fleet, I think, though not without the diplomacy. Which, despite certain parties (Hi, McGregor) is still a requirement for not starting wars. Ryaenn really does seem to get that, which definitely means marks in her favor.

I like how her and Gage are not quite born enemies or anything, just clearly have a rift. You get the impression they could become very effective or very dysfunctional, depending upon their choices. Which, of course, is a masterful stroke writing-wise. They aren't fated one way or the other. They have to earn it.

As to your prior comment, re: counselors, I get it. My very best friend is a psychologist, and I've had several shrink friends (and all of them think I should have been a shrink), so I'm not shabby at understanding 'em and also understanding the wariness of 'em. Heh. I actually have a shrink character; he's a sparky, genuine, irreverent and somewhat independent minded guy who doesn't pull punches. Reminds me some of Phil Boyce, but with more teeth. So, I like Joe so far; we'll see if he continues to pass muster. (As an unrelated aside, I'd lay odds on my Doc being able to crack McGregor if you gave him enough time. They both have big brass ones, they're both cunning SOBs and Brian has enough badass behind him to make it an interesting challenge.)

Reviewer: SLWalker Signed [Report This]
Date: 18 Aug 2013 00:24 Title: Duels -- Dances

Deeeeelightful. More awesomeness from Ryaenn. I like how she's winning the Doc over despite Bux. I really like her interaction with Joe, too; he strikes me as potentially a good counselor, not near so overbearing as Troi could often be, more just giving a damn and offering his services without pushing until it breaks. Ameren is awesome at the end here; he's got well-earned confidence, but I like that you didn't make him superman, too; I like that he didn't just hand Kerrek a beating. It speaks to more of that lovely realism you're so good at. Yes, he's good, no, he's not perfect.

Author's Response:

Don't tell Ameren he's not perfect - he certainly likes to think he is. I bet he and Tabatha got along swimmingly during their time together.

The Doc is getting won over but she's a sit on the fence type so she may be won over the other way too. But Ryaenn obviously has a way about her and a mission to convince and win people to her side.

Not quite when it comes to Joe Marsters. She is leery of him because he's a counsellor. Something I'd relate to myself to be honest. This is going to be my first time writing a counsellor character actually. Your vote of confidence on him helps. Again, thank you for reading.

Reviewer: SLWalker Signed [Report This]
Date: 18 Aug 2013 00:12 Title: Duels -- Meditations

Ha! I wonder -- I just wonder -- if it's McGregor who started that cross-training institution and it spread, or if he picked it up somewhere else himself. But he's kind of a trend setter.

I know, not fair to compare crews. Even so, it's your fault for writing such dynamic ones. I love T'Vala so far. She's charming, for lack of a better word -- she's Vulcan, but she's also not a parody of a Vulcan. She has her own quirks, including her petty little pleasure at the slapdown in the briefing. I like that she and her captain are building something of an alliance; Ryaenn is going to need those, in the days ahead, especially with command stacking the deck against her like it is.

Author's Response:

I'd like to think McGregor did, certainly, I can imagine him bragging about it to the stoopid Fleeters. Although, in my vision of the Border Patrol Service, the fact they're probably not as well funded, get the hand me downs more often than not, and probably don't have the same pool of recruits with ships crewed by lesser numbers, I'd imagine a greater need for cross departmental training to allow off shifts.

Yeah - you called them dynamic crews. Love you.

It's interesting to write T'Vala. She's not the stuck up Vulcan type and she's not a Vulcan with issues such as T'Vel or trying to find a balance between dual identiites such as Spock. I hope I maintain her as Vulcan but show that Vulcans have facets, strengths and failings.

Ryaenn is going to need friends. In ways, T'Vala is a natural ally - they're both scientists, restrained and have issues with Gage. However, there is the historical Andorian/Vulcan aspect but I doubt it will manifest itself between these two. In fact, you never know how the pair might develop.

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