Date: 28 Apr 2014 16:05 Title: Chapter 1
Wow. Very powerfully written. I always knew that McCoy was hurting over Joanna. This story really ties in with the flow of my own series, in which McCoy identifies with Spock's struggles regarding his own daughter and actively intervenes on more than one occasion, taking young T'Beth under his wing. It is also because of T'Beth that he takes a serious swing at Kirk--the only act of physical violence I've ever allowed him. And he "packed quite a punch for a skinny old guy". Go McCoy!
Date: 19 Sep 2013 14:29 Title: Chapter 1
I think you've really hit the nail on the head here.
We've kind of been sold a bill of goods when it comes to happy, well-adjusted Starfleet families, but the truth is, it really can't be like that. I'd be shocked if it was even close to that in the majority of cases, or even in a sizable minority thereof.
Parents in particular really get it. At least for childless couples, the pain is confined to two people, and they're old enough to understand.
But we're left with the following scenarios.
1) Just like this, where the parents divorce and the primary caregiver and the child are left planetside. Leonard isn't in space yet, but he's certainly free to do so in this instance. Joanna gets a home, and she gets a male authority figure in her life. Leonard gets the short end of the stick of course.
2) The parents stay together, but the primary caregiver and the child are left planetside. Similar to #1, except Joanna doesn't get a male authority figure in her life, unless Joss either has a brother or friend, or even has an affair. Not a pleasant business, and now all three are affected.
3) The parents stay together and the primary caregiver and the child are on one ship, whereas the other parent is on another ship. All that does is assure that not everyone is killed if one ship is demolished.
4) And of course when all three are together, sometimes that's all right, but the child is a lot more likely to become an orphan if the ship is destroyed.
Really, there is no good solution here, and it leaves Starfleet to the young. And the older folks in Starfleet are either childless or bereft or perpetually single or maladjusted. Often a combination thereof.
And so major sacrifices are made by Leonard, and yeah, it might make some sense that he's trying to dull his senses from all of this. Well done, and disturbing.
Exactly. There is no right or perfect solution. I think this is why everyone we saw in TOS was single while in space, although we know that somewhere along the line Sulu did manage to have a daughter.
Turns out Nick was not the father figure he could have been, or should have been. Joanna divulges this to Leonard after the fact in 'Shadows and Dust.' Sadly, she wasn't as fortunate as Declan.
Even though this was inspired by Sam's dark free write prompt, for me it was an expansion of an event McCoy alluded to to Kirk in my story 'Learning Curve.' I always felt that it was the loss of Joanna, not Joss, that was the last straw for Len--what ultimately drove him into space, for clearly it was a place he wasn't comfortable with ("Yes. There was one casualty--my wits--as in 'scared out of.'").
Date: 08 Sep 2013 11:37 Title: Chapter 1
LBD, another excellent piece on McCoy by you, from the reasons while his marriage failed, he inner kindness and his poor relationship with his parents been used by his ex to ensure she gets to keep full custody of Joanna. Then only allowing him a short final moment with his dandy lion before insisting on bed. It is a wonderfully but agony image that you construct of McCoy. The emotional painful feeling he has to punishing himself with the rough moonshine rather than his smooth bourbon because he feels like he has failed his daughter. I wonder if this is why he switches to Romulan Ale in later years.
The real heart breaking emotional moment as he is forced to break his daughter excitement about going to Cerberus and explain to Joanna that he's not going to Cerberus with them.
I think the Leonard McCoy we saw in TOS was broken, although he did strive to hide that inner pain. We saw it flare up when bits of his irascible, curmudgeonly personality came to the fore at the most inopportune times. To my mind, losing his family, but more importantly his only child, was a major contributing factor to that pain and inner torment.