Date: 11 Jul 2014 15:33 Title: Chapter 9
Nice twist here. A greater conspiracy is at work and Etam's death has always been a foregone conclusion. This certainly helps to soften the blow for Sonia who finds himself with a new purpose and new masters.
Jessica and the rest of the crew remain ignorant however so it'll be tougher for them. But if Drake is right, something tells me they won't be in the dark for long. Their enemy is going to make another move. Only a question of when. And then what? Will they be forced to make a deal with the devil themselves?
This was a tough story to read at times but the ending tied it in nicely into the bigger picture and giving us plenty more to expect from Rafale and crew. Let's hope it won't all be this devastating. Jessica will need some wins after this.
Date: 10 Jul 2014 15:13 Title: Chapter 8
This story turned really, really dark. Can't say I expected that. And a charge of negligent genocide for Seymour. Man, how do you live with that? He'd have to be put on suicide watch for pretty much the rest of his life.
Not a feel good story, this one.
Date: 08 Jul 2014 12:42 Title: Chapter 7
Wow, this is super bad. If the damage is really going to be as total as it's been implied, the fallout for Rafale is going to be immense. You just killed a planet. Sonia, if he survives is through for sure and even Jessica will have to carry some of the blame as she picked him to lead the mission.
And then of course there are the emotional consequences. I probably wouldn't sleep well for at least a couple of years if I had been part of this debacle.
Date: 04 Jul 2014 07:17 Title: Chapter 6
Well, that's a conundrum if there ever was one. While trying to save a planet from destruction by meteor, either risk causing small scale destruction and thousands of deaths or save yourself. It's a no-win scenario worthy to be taught at the Academy.
We already know the outcome. At least part of it. Rafale survives. That means a bunch of other people are going to get killed. No happy endings here.
Date: 02 Jul 2014 21:57 Title: Chapter 6
Oooh insubordinate but he is right; Jess is cold and may not be thinking straight. Following orders from someone who may be compromised, particularly suicidal ones? I wouldn't want to be his attorney at his Court Martial, but he might have a defense.
Date: 30 Jun 2014 14:14 Title: Chapter 5
Well, I guess it'd be wrong to say that the stakes have just gone up, considering an entire planet is in danger but things just got personal now that Rafale is on the line too.
And Sonia is picking his team by hotness? Way to go dude. It may not be super professional but I can't really fault him on that one.
Date: 29 Jun 2014 03:49 Title: Chapter 4
Landing on a meteor and drilling holes into it in hopes of blowing it up? Me thinks Sonia has been watching Armageddon on the holo deck. Still, if they can actually manage to land on the thing, it just may work.
I admittedly wouldn't start a Sonia fan club any time soon but Obruz seems too hard on him. Okay, the guy's a total douche but still, he's got a plan which is more than anyone else can say. So let the man work.
It does strike me though that his poor dynamic with the rest of the senior staff is really hurting the chances of success. If this were the Enterprise for example you'd probably see everyone working together to try and make this work, instead of Sonia sitting (almost) alone in his quarters sweating over a solution to save an entire planet.
Author's Response: Yeah, I'll admit...I sorta did have some inspiration for this. I promise I stopped short of calling the shuttle "Freedom" or "Independence," and there's no ragtag group of oil drillers, either. As for him working alone, I had a lot of things happen in the background. I imagined him being a lot like I can be, where you chose to do a lot of the admin work yourself because you don't trust someone else to get it right. He worked with the various departments (like he was told to) to formulate the plan; he just took it upon himself to get the proposal in order.
Date: 28 Jun 2014 17:54 Title: Chapter 4
In ENT, there is a landing on a comet. I believe it wasn't meant to be as close to its sun as this one is, but there is precedent for this.
Still, whatever Sonia's motivations are, this is useful. And for Jess and the others, it's also useful. Not to be wholly mercenary about this, but if he even comes close to succeeding, a different commander could take an interest in him, and she could be rid of him that way. Or they could at least have the opportunity for him to be a bit better at working with her. This is a good option for her, and although success would be best for the Etambians, for Jess, it's almost an afterthought.
Date: 27 Jun 2014 03:35 Title: Chapter 3
Very interesting, a warp program born out of desperate necessity and based on the observation of Romulan starships passing by.
Prime Directive concerns are always a pain but considering this is a warp capable species, I'd say that Jessica has enough of a reason to justify getting involved. Not sure if Starfleet Command will agree.
Really liked the alien perspective here even if Gorem needs to work on his manners. Looks like the man has never asked for a favor in his life. And this is a pretty big one.
Author's Response: I pictured Gorem being a bit...xenophobic. Which...yeah...why send the xenophobe out on a First Contact mission?
Date: 26 Jun 2014 18:36 Title: Chapter 3
What I particularly love here (and it's a very small part of the piece), is that the gestures are unknown and alien, and they may very well mean their opposites. This is very true of human culture. Hold up your index and pinky fingers in Italy, in the US, etc., and you'll get far different interpretations. There is no reason at all to believe that smiles, nods, etc. would ever be interpreted the same way.
And, yay, they can communicate.
And even better, this may be something that Sonia and Jess can actually work together on. It's not friendship, but it's a start.
Author's Response: I'm glad you liked the gestures! It was hard keeping them all in check; I think I proofread it fifty times before I even sent it to my wife for a beta-read. I didn't want to have to build an entire language from scratch (thus the aliens speaking English in the text...subtitles?) but I figured I could still make them alien enough. And yeah...Sonia and Jess...*sigh*
Date: 24 Jun 2014 17:47 Title: Chapter 2
Interesting. Looks like the alien's warp flight may have been prompted by their observation of starships. And they are clearly desperate to make some sort of contact.
I really enjoyed the imagery of the Rafale suddenly appearing. It's a bird, not it's a plane. No it's ... Okay, I know, wrong franchise.
Jessica needs to work on keeping her emotions for her lover/friend in check while on duty. I'm sure Nizeri didn't mind too much, but it was still pretty awkward and could get downright inappropriate if somebody else had been in the room.
By the way, I'm really hoping Justine isn't the one who buys the farm in this story. That would be just awful.
Date: 24 Jun 2014 12:02 Title: Chapter 2
There is absolutely nothing more that they could have done. There are going to be sentient species that we don't even recognize as being alive. Even this is better than that.
As for Sonia, his previous behaviors are not helping him. I do hope Jess can look past that a bit, and try to be fair with him. Otherwise, his complaints about her are going to start to hold some water.
Date: 22 Jun 2014 12:15 Title: Chapter 1
That was a hard opening and yet it suit Jessica style of command to have that sort of service for lost crew though you have got me worry you're going to take someone else Jessica loves away from her.
Now you give us an interesting opening, and signs that Seymour might have found a good women but with the foreshadowing it does seem might be all for nowt. I do wonder what Jessica put in his performance report about his many shortcoming.
Date: 22 Jun 2014 05:11 Title: Chapter 1
I love me a good in medias res opening and this one strikes hard. Somebody important died and in a very bad way. Like poor Jessica has not enough of a hard time already.
I like the first hints of the other plot lines as well. Jessica getting a chance at a possible first contact and everyone knows those are always fun. Especially the many ways they can go horribly wrong.
And then there is the ongoing Sonia problem who much to Jessica's added misfortunes has suddenly found himself another reason to stay on the Rafale.
This is promising to be a fun story. Looking forward to it.