Date: 19 Jun 2020 14:13 Title: Episode 4.14 - Pon Farr
Beautiful mourning scene. I particularly liked Dolphin and T'Lon's first encounter by the bulkhead. Felt very somber but also poignant.
The meal was a nice touch too. As for the ending, I guess what I said before still applies. Everybody grives in their own way.
Thanks for the kind words about Dolphin & T'Lon - and I'm glad you enjoyed the ending... Of course there's more going on under the surface - as you might surmise from the title of Episode 5...
Date: 19 Jun 2020 13:28 Title: Episode 4.13 - Assessment
The Cardassians? Interesting. Yeah I remember mentions of Cardassian hardware I the ground assault earlier. I also recall Ivonovic's dire warning about the forces Hunter may be up against.
Cardassians can be a mean bunch, but I assume since the war they're no longer a major threat to the Federation. Methinks something else might be going on here.
Good call... At this point there are a lot of Cardassian mercenaries available for hire - boatloads of them...
Date: 19 Jun 2020 13:20 Title: Episode 4.12 - Dark Mode
T'Lon is taking this better than I expected. No doubt her Vulcan side is of enormous help in a situation like that and I'm sure she is grieving in her own way.
In the meantime, Tauk seems to know what he's doing in his new role. He must have been taught well.
Tauk is into game theory (and what ferengi isn't?)
Glad you're enjoying - Thanks! rbs
Date: 17 Jun 2020 20:54 Title: Episode 4.10 - Awakening
Very bittersweet announcement but I'm not so sure that this crew will remember this day for breaching the warp ten barrier. Worse, whenever they think about having been part of history, they'll also remember the tragic loss of a great officer and maybe even better friend.
Good assessment. I'm enjoying your review - thanks! rbs
Date: 17 Jun 2020 20:46 Title: Episode 4.9 - Casualties
Gut punch. I had my suspicions it was her by the setup. Minerva's confession is really quite telling, saying to her friend she wishes it had been someone else. As a captain, that's something you would only tell a person you trust immensely. And she feels bad about it. She should, but then again you cannot deny your own feelings either.
I wonder how that other part of the Vulcan duo will take this. Not well, I suspect. Not well at all.
I wanted to avoid the trope of the expendible red-shirt. You have a good prediction about T'Lon - but there's more going on with her as you'll find in the last few sentences of this episode... And the opening scene for Episode 5.
Date: 17 Jun 2020 20:40 Title: Episode 4.8 - The Carrera Effect
Things happened so suddenly here, I haven't even stopped to think about the attacker. Whoever they are, they are clearly a force to be reckoned with.
By the way, the name zip drive keeps reminding me of those old computer disk drives which were popular for maybe 5 minutes back in the 90s, I think.
Enjoying that you're getting swept up in the action. I did include a few anachronistic puns.
Date: 17 Jun 2020 20:30 Title: Episode 4.6 - Blowout
Quite a few sudden surprises in store for us in this story and here's another one I didn't see coming. Usually you get a bit of warning before a hull breach but not here. Well done.
Surprised but also relieved that T'Lok and the others could be saved, the moment they were blown out into space I had assumed they were goners for sure.
Oh, and Hunter can go Warp 10+? Considering none of the crew are space lizards and the ship is not everywhere at once, I assume there has been some technological advancement and/or a change to the warp scale.
That's the zip drive.. Bubbles of reverse entropy that cause the entire warp field to rock backward slightly in time as it moves forward in space... So effectively traveling faster than warp 10 without exceeding warp 10... Ask Wesley Crusher... He's the one who came up with it.
Date: 15 Jun 2020 01:11 Title: Episode 4.5 - A Matter of Mass
An elegant solution to a complicated problem.
Thanks again for reading and reviewing!
I like the idea that in a department full of math geniuses and people with Ph.D.'s in physics, warp field theory, etc., it's the librarian with minimal engineering training who solves the riddle...
BTW - I'm about to break canon in a big way - but I have an explanation for it, which I published in the Background Information.
Date: 15 Jun 2020 01:07 Title: Episode 4.4 - The Touch
Touching little scene. (Didn't mean to make a pun this time but couldn't be helped)
This is one of those scenes that seems insignificant, but will play a huge role throughout the rest of the story...
Date: 15 Jun 2020 01:05 Title: Episode 4.3 - Ground Operations Lounge
I'm not sure if I'd want to serve on this ship with so little space that the crew sleeps in their escape pods. Although, I've got to admit, that practically speaking that is really quite clever in the event the ship needs to be abandoned in a hurry.
Curious how many of these crew members seem to be related to each other.
I think you called it early on - it's designed after a Coast Guard cutter, which is quite close quarters. Which is why crew prefer to stay planetside or on a star base whenever they can. I didn't get into this level of detail, but I imagine you would walk into the escape pod, lean your back against the accelleration couch/bed and once the pod door closes, the artificial gravity would shift from what was the floor to the bed. There is enough room in the pod for two people - barely...
Date: 15 Jun 2020 00:55 Title: Episode 4.2 - Dolphin and T'Lon
Agreed, definitely seems simpler than warp field theory. But not by that much.
Good thing they've got an expert guest on board who can monitor these two on their strange trip (pun intended).
Glad you're enjoying the slow burn buildup.. It made sense to me that Justice Irons would ask her daughter to come along and help out as she was scheduled to return to Earth anyway.
Date: 15 Jun 2020 00:51 Title: Episode 4.1 - The Crusher/Crumar/Carrera Effect
Wow, 14 billion people on Earth in the 24th century? Might be a little crowded. But I suppose if you have enough energy production, plus replicator tech, feeding that many folks might not be an issue.
Anyway, interesting strategy by Shran. Not quite sure yet what their plan is on actually capturing these mysterious killers.
According to UN estimates, even if we have a big war, pandemics, etc., we're pretty much on course for a stable world population of 12 billion by 2100. The current distribution is 1 billion in the Americas (north and south), 1 billion in Europe, 1 billion in Africa, and 4 billion in Asia. The 2100 distribution is estimated to be 1 billion in the Americas, 1 billion in Europe, 4.5 billion in Africa and 5.5 billion in Asia. We have already reached peak child - the birth rate is down to replacement population. The reason we will get there isn't more babies - it's the people who are alive today. And we can easily support that population - but it will take revolutions in energy production, environmental management and food distribution. We already produce more than enough food - but an astouding amount of it goes to waste.
I just took that projection and added 2 billion aliens, mostly vulcans...
Date: 09 Jun 2020 23:00 Title: Episode 3.12 - Life is a Beach... (Part 1 of 2)
This started off with a slow burn which slowly raises my suspicion with every line until ... Bang.
And them things developed fast. Really fast. Still trying to catch my breath here. Not totally sure what's going on but it's clearly not good.
What will await our daring heroes on Earth. Guess I'll have to keep reading to find out.
Very much the effect I worked for... All the clues were there..
The serial killer causes humans to kill human/trill hybrids..... Dewayne Guth is half trill..
The serial killer strikes at breakfast.. Guth shows up for a breakfast ceremony...
Again - thanks for the kind words and here's hoping you're hooked...
Date: 09 Jun 2020 22:46 Title: Episode 3.10 - Surf Lesson
A lot going on in this chapter.
I still have a bit of trouble keeping T'Lon and T'Lok apart but that might be because I tend to skip the summaries and character blurbs.
Using a mind meld as a tool to teach people surfing is a pretty novel idea. I really liked the way you described the meld and the affect it had on Dolphin. That was pretty vivid stuff.
As for Dolphin, the man clearly has had quite a career history. He might be working in flight operations these days but it sounds like he'll play a crucial part in catching these peculiar assassins.
Dolphin plays an absolutely crucual role - but not in any way you might expect..
Lt. T'Lok Smith is half human. I named her father (who shows up in a later episode) after my voice teacher - Dr. George Smith.
Glad you're enjoying my surfing vulcans... Thanks again for the review and the kind words!! rbs
Date: 09 Jun 2020 22:29 Title: Episode 3.9 - Sarekson Carrera Commanding
Some quick thinking by Carrera followed by a suprisingly quick response by all Starfleet assets in the area. Getting the distinct feeling that your version of Starfleet is far more militarized than what we've seen in canon.
Also, interesting ship design. Is that based on any existing models available online?
The Hunter (Prowler class) exists only in my imagination. I wish I had access to a good graphic artist who could put together a good sketch of it.
This story takes place about 20 years after the Dominion War - after getting their butts kicked by the Borg, then the Klingons then the Dominion, Star Fleet has put a little more emphasis on policy and procedure...
Thanks again for the reviews and the kind words! rbs
Date: 09 Jun 2020 22:22 Title: Episode 3.8 - Ivonovic's Defense
I wonder if there is more courtroom drama in store for this story. And I wonder, if so, if it'll be less bloody.
I think you'll enjoy Episodes 7 (The Great Mushroom) and 25 (I Dream of Shiva) - both of which have extended courtroom scenes. But for big courtroom drama.. Episode 22 (Sacrifice)... No blood is shed. Hallucinogens, however...
Thanks again!! rbs
Date: 09 Jun 2020 22:16 Title: Episode 3.7 - A Private Dinner
"Clan" may be more appropriate here than family considering the size. Minerva Irons sure has ensured her legacy for generations to come and seemingly not randomly either.
Definitely a clan... I took my cue from the very underrated ST Enterprise. In one episode they found a corpse from the future that had DNA strands from a dozen different species. And then there was Crewman Daniels (also from the future) who, when someone said, "Well at least you're human" responded, "For the most part..."
Thanks for the review!! rbs
Date: 06 Jun 2020 13:42 Title: Episode 3.5: Surfing
Looks like you are changing up the formula a little bit and moving to longer chapters. Suits me fine, although the sudden change of location and characters within the chapter itself was a little jarring.
I was going to focus on a light-hearted comment on the irony of having the one officer named after a sea-dwelling animal being uncomfortable in water.
Then things took a very dark turn. This isn't a straight forward homicide investigation, this is far worse. I wonder if the capable crew of the Hunter is up for this kind of challenge.
I was really still learning how to write this story in episodes 2 & 3. By episode 4 my writing style settled down and finally of got out of the way of the story. I drafted Episode 1 in March 2019 and finished Episode 28 (the final ep) this March. I'm still editing the ending. If I were writing the beginning now I would do a few things differently - but it would still be kaleidoscopic.
That said, I'm glad you caught the irony of Dolphin being hopeless at surfing and appreciated the range from light to dark - definitely something I was shooting for. I'm looking forward to your reaction to the last scene for Ep 3 - Life is a Beach...
Date: 06 Jun 2020 13:30 Title: Episode 3.3 - Captain Summers
My bad, didn't realize that all happened on a different ship. That makes sense.
Fascinating case as (some) Vulcans would say. Assuming some sort of mind control factored into this. Curious to find out more.
Date: 06 Jun 2020 13:23 Title: Episode 3.1 - Breakfast on the U.S.S. Challenger
Wow, did not see that coming at all. WTF!
I always get a kick out of people's reactions to this scene that jump starts the serial killer storyline within the much larger storyline.
There is more mayhem coming up in this episode...
Date: 31 May 2020 13:38 Title: Episode 2.15 - Grounded
Dolphin lays down the law!
At first I thought he was a bit harsh here, unnecessarily being a stickler for rules and regs, but it turns out he's making a fairly decent point on what in hindsight was a very dangerous maneuver which could have easily ended in disaster.
Turns out, boring old regs exist for a reason after all, and Dolphin understands this well.