Date: 04 Feb 2012 19:39 Title: Act Five
Oh man! I expected things to go badly as is the way of stories - but so swiftly and so brutally to the reader so. Damn. That was a carpet rug pulling moment. And then the final line of a promise to return to this story at some juncture to add injury to matters! (LOL!)
Damn. We still don't know if there is more to the pirates than simple mercenary ends. We also don't know what the fall out of this will be for the crew. Ariel will have to face the loss of Dawkins and consider just whether the cost of cutting herself off is worth it. And I wonder, given the surprising endorsement of the plan by T'Cirya, will Ariel bear her fault for the disaster that has befallen.
Date: 04 Feb 2012 19:23 Title: Act Four
Well that is an ominous portent. I don't fancy Dawkins' chances. Then again, after talking to Ariel like that they were slim anyway - LOL. But in seriousness, he committed 'death will become me' crime number one by professing his love to another. That does not bode well.
However, the bait trap should by rights work and it shall proving interesting and exciting to see how this will pan out.
And then we come back to Ariel. I know a great many readers express their doubt or sometimes even dislike of the character - but me - I find her fascinating. Call me a romantic or clueless for a hopeless cause but the fact her purpose is fuelled more often than not by Leone makes me feel a degree of sympathy towards her. Leone can move on with her life - have a hubby, kid and carer - but Ariel seems to end up living in her shadow - the shadow of her career, the shadow of her personal life and loves - and never in the spotlight of that.
And it seems everyone else can see that - heck even Ariel seems to recognise that but pushes the realisation away in denial. I think the character of Ariel is great for the fact that her fervent loyalty and attachment to Leone makes her dangerous and actions filled with the potential to be wrong for the right reasons. She's got so much story telling potential as a character. She's a powder keg that keeps getting thrown into already combustible situations.
Date: 04 Feb 2012 19:08 Title: Act Three
Aha. The crux of the relationship between Leone and Ariel is that little dance they do together. That little stand up to each other but see through the crap and see the actual person under it all. Leone can measure Ariel up and maybe with anyone else that would annoy the shit out of her but because it is Ariel it is just something she likes even more about her. And it is strange to think that Leone is Ariel's unrequited love. No wonder she finds no staying comfort in the arms of others.
Ariel is bold but maybe a little too enthralled with Leone as she imagines that the captain is too reserved and that Leone would have figured a means to best the fighters. Maybe she would but maybe she wouldn't. The problem for Ariel is that she feels certain that Leone would and it may be the case that that belief will endanger Ariel at some point.
And now a trap is going to be laid? ...
Date: 04 Feb 2012 18:44 Title: Act Two
Again, I just envy your ability to add details into the mix without labouring the story or stifling any intent. Instead, it all adds a layer of texture to the storytelling and your universe.
I also appreciate the way this is an origin story in many ways with this being Wilson's first boarding party. The new ensign has to earn his stripes with the non-coms of course, so he isn't addressed as 'sir' but as 'ensign'. Nothing disrespectful, just a case of waiting to be proven and tested.
Then we have the turnabout at the end, with the captain using discretion here to avoid another entanglement with the fighters. Twenty of them now. It begs the question, as to who they are and their intent.
Ariel, as always is pushing buttons. Either looking to 'seduce' or to 'irk' it seems. With her little thirty seconds more or less asides and expressing her disbelief that they should be retreating. She may be promoted but she seems a long from accepting the wiser, more cautious decisions of those over her. But then, isn't the fascination of a character like Ariel - that she should buck the system in her own way and is never quite a conformist.
Date: 04 Feb 2012 18:27 Title: Act One
And here comes the trouble ... Nice transition from a bridge scene into a mini battle that promises a mystery as to purpose and identity of the attacker. Very interesting and an interesting little battle scene too. Interesting because it showed some tactics, and ably demonstrates some of Leone's ability in that area, to the strange duking it out of a large capital ship against fighters. You showed how the fighters used their size, and upgraded systems, to their advantage.
But before all of that, you had some great character moments. The Leone conversation with her hubby was a great scene. There seems to be a lot that went unsaid between them in terms of where their relationship is at. He is jealous of Ariel too, not trusting Ariel even though he trusts Leone. But he probably thinks Leone is being unfaithful simply by virtue of the fact she spends her time with Ariel and yet gets too busy to drop him a line about her promotion. Ouch! It does not bode well for their marriage that both share frustrations and certain resentments.
Then we come to Captain T'Cirya. I like her point of view, especially her impressions of Ariel. They are less than favourable. I like how we got a definite feel for the Vulcan woman's thoughts and feelings, even though as a Vulcan her responses were virtually stripped of emotion. I like too how you can write her as a Vulcan without recourse to the stereotypes - there is no mention of logic or Surak for example.
Also, to be commended is the way you give certain details that only give part of a picture but points to a richer star trek universe beyond what we saw on TV. First, there's the late night calls and strained marriages we see with Leone. Then, there are those little details about the cargo freighter, how it belongs to a company and points to a whole civilian way of life going on in the trekverse. Nicely done.
It's been a while since I've read through this. I had to go back and reread this part of the story so I can understand what you were referring to :)
I really like trying to expose aspects of the genre that we take for granted or assume exist, but never really get to see. To me, I always felt like we didn't really get to fully understand the character interactions until Deep Space Nine. FSA is an attempt to bring DS9-like interactions to the TNG setting.
In the end, I'm glad that I was able to convey that and keep your interest :)
Thanks for reading!
Date: 04 Feb 2012 18:03 Title: Teaser
Hee, hee. Nice sparky dialogue between everyone. It gives a little colour to the proceedings and points very much to the strong bonds between them all - especially so Leone and Ariel. Of course, just a happy opening means that there is going to trouble down the line.
Am I that predictable? :)
In the original draft of that scene, I had them all getting together over a game of Strategema, but I went with poker because it's easier to understand than having to do an infodump. The infodump really broke the narrative, and I didn't want to lose the energy in the first two paragraphs.
Thanks for reading!