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Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 04 Jul 2021 16:19 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 47

Somewhere in a subspace dimension, the end of universes is accompanied by thunderous applause.. These guys make genocide seem like juvenile mischief by comparison.

Yet another SEA cliffhanger. Good description of Owens' reaction to the disappearance of the Heracles and all the life it represents - a mixture or nausea and relief. And his rumination that there was something even worse from being helpless to save his crew.

Sounds like their task is far from done.

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: Yeah, the scope of destruction is almost too massive to fully fathom. I certainly don't envy Owens & company having to come to terms with their failures so far. Thanks again for continued and insightful reviews. I'm truly enjoying these. The wait for the next book shouldn't be too long. In the meantime, if you're interested in the full QD treatment, I'd encourage you to check out Homecoming, which is essentially a prelude to QD.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 27 Jun 2021 22:45 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 46

That was a monster chapter.. But continuous. I can't help but get a sadistic charge out of the dissolution of Altee. I'm wondering how many of Lif's new crew were able to be rescued by the Eagle. 

Now we have a critical clue about what the subspace aliens are up to.. Elminating potential threats from highly advanced civilzaitons in varous universes. 

Do unto others before they do unto you... Of course it remains to be seen whether any physical universes are necessary for the subspace aliens. They may be driven by a religious ferver to destroy all physical realities - similar to the destruction of all possible Earths in the 5th book of the Hitchhikers trilogy.

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: Thanks for the kind words. Yes, this one was biggie as we are closing in on the finale. Clearly the forces Eagle and her crew are up against are no joke. How do you stop somebody with this kind of power?

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 21 Jun 2021 01:27 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 45

Classic Trek - having to make decisions among multiple bad options.

Seems like Michael is destined not only to lose his brother over and over, but Maya as well. In many different ways.

Bit of a classic Greek tradgedy going on here... Euripides would have been proud.

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: It's not easy being a starship captain. Certainly not one named Michael Owens. Tragedy just seems to follow that dude.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 14 Jun 2021 17:00 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 44

Looks like a deus-ex-machina at the end... good old transporters...

Good character development for Lif - and also for Garla. Always satisfying to see not just original characters, but original species being developed. Especially since these are not the series leads - although Lif appears to rapidly becoming one.

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: What would Trek be without the magic of transporters? I wouldn't call QD a Lif story, but he certainly plays an integral part here. Simiar to on-screen Trek, I always tried to focus on one or two members of the ensemble cast per story beyond Owens and Star. A decade or so in, I still feel I have not have done justice to all of them.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 31 May 2021 16:15 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 43

Those good old transporters... At least they were able to save one of the Stars. But not the falling Star...

A fitting end for Dark Michael and Dark Star - although surprising that she didn't try to avoid him. At least she went out in a blaze of glory.

Always interesting to see what alternate circumstances might make of individuals.

Nice, tightly written action sequence.

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: Thanks. Admittedly, not one of my subtlest chapters. Battle to the death on a volcanic planet suffering from earthquakes. But hey, it was kinda fun. Probably not for Star. Either one.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 24 May 2021 15:07 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 42

I knew it was coming.... STAR WARS!!!

And rule #1 from the Walking Dead - never leave a mortal enemy alive and never assume they are dead even when you see the body...

Interesting interplay between Star prime and Dark Star - some sense of empathy among them.

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: Oh man, I didn't think of Star Wars. That's a great pun. I think the fact that Dark Star didn't verify the kill speaks to how little she cares about Dark Michael, particularly compared to how much he has focused his energies on destroying her.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 17 May 2021 15:26 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 41

Universe-ending particle superdupercollider here - no pressure at all. Another day at the office... I'm quite enjoying the interplay of the characters around a hastily modified pattern enhancer.

Very interesting allegorical control panel - brute force as a stand-in for mental effort. As a writing trope, so much more effective than trying to convey the same idea with some more cerebral sort of effort (which in television and movies almost always comes across as the actors having really bad constipation. Except in Scanners - where their heads actually explode...)

Nicely done - Thanks! rbs

Author's Response: A lot of mental imagery going on in this story, I suppose. It's fun to write these since essentially, the limit is imagination. And yeah, definitely better than writing another "he was focusing very very hard". (I bet that's a line in a lot of Trek scripts).

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 03 May 2021 12:05 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 40

Nice creepy feeling there... I'm suspecting that wasn't Alt-Owens she saw... Perhaps Dark Star? Or something worse?

Charm is definitely an appropriate name for a tellerite - they're such fun characters to write.

Nice short focused scene. Hard to beat a pile of bodies...

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: I may have taken a cue from your writing style here. Originally, this was one very long chapter before I decided to break it up. I like what it does for the tension, although it's probably not helping the overall pace of this already very long story.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed [Report This]
Date: 19 Apr 2021 11:28 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 39

Love the line "Just channel the worst parts of your personality and you should be fine..." That should be on a tee-shirt somewhere.

Just a few paragraphs above that you have "thought" where it appears you meant "taught" (father teaching him how to pilot a shuttle)

And now Lif-prime gets to lead a battle against some version of Star Fleet - or so it appears at the moment. He's going to need access to some more lively Krellonian expletives for this job.

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: Things are certainly not looking up for Lif. This is just not his week, I guess.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 12 Apr 2021 11:46 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 38

Good quick businesslike rescue - and the thing that doesn't go to plan is the captain who authorized it...

So Michael wants to drag Dark Michael into the light... Not sure sending the doppelganger of the object of his obsession to collect him is the wisest course.

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: Yeah, I can see a couple of problems with this plan as well. Let's just see how it all plays out, shall we?

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 05 Apr 2021 15:29 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 37

Sci Fi just became Psi Fi...

An interesting list of previous civilizations - which holds out the question - what happened to them and could there be some of these guys still banging about in alternate universes? And if so, could they maybe lend a psionic hand, so to speak...

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: A lot of possibilities here, no doubt. I hadn't considered the term Psi-Fi before but it seems to me that it could be quite appropriate for at least this particular plot line.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 30 Mar 2021 13:18 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 36

I always appreciate an amusing turn of phrase - "and so, apparently, did her stomach..."

Interesting tactical calculations based on local spacetime phenomina.

The final moments of this scene with Dark Michael and Deen is rather satisfying, as is his determination to lead the away team to kill Star in person. Leaving the door wide open for someone else to take command of Alt-Eagle...

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: We're definitely heading for some kind of showdown. Stay tuned.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 22 Mar 2021 11:52 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 35

A kaleidoscopic travelogue of potential worlds, each deserving of a full scifi treatment. Kind of like speed-reading a pile of Robert Silverberg novels. 

It does leave me wondering what happened to Gary Seven - and what the sinesthetic burst at the end was about. I rarely see such writing, so it's nice to see a big Jackson Pollock splash of sensory perception splattered onto the page. Definitely some of your more evocative writing.

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: Thanks for the kind words, I definitely was going for a jarring and maybe even slightly psychedelic experience here.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 15 Mar 2021 11:29 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 34

Alt-Owens really pops as the obsessed villain - with some sense that given this universe, his obsession is understandable. I liked his threat - quite effective. Nice to be able to use your main character to create a skin-crawling villain...

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: As you probably have been able to tell, one of my favorite aspects of writing an alternate reality saga like this, has been the idea of recasting these guys into different roles. Nothing quite as delightful as turning a hero into a villain. I guess there's a reason these mirror universe episodes were so popular.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 08 Mar 2021 21:22 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 33

Very interesting backstory and a good excuse for indulging in it. These kinds of stories are the meat and potatoes of science fiction - alternate routes for intelligent life. 

Also nice to get more screen time with Gary Seven. Having an actor's voice come clearly through the dialogue provides some aural grounding for the scene. 

Definitely looking forward to more of this.

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: Bensu is no doubt a focal point of QD. One thing that makes him an interesting character to write is the fact that he doesn't appear to know much about himself, meaning we may be discovering his backstory as he does himself. Glad you continue to enjoy Gary Seven.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 01 Mar 2021 12:38 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 32

So Lif is just killing himself to get that promotion... Or is he dying for it? A tremendously fun chapter and maybe a desperately needed learning moment for Garla. 

And now Lif may be in a unique position to help the Eagle and crew - assuming he can tell which Eagle is which.

This Trek version of Sliders is turning out to be a lot of fun.

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: Well, I'm glad you enjoyed this chapter. Lif clearly didn't. But then again, what is the point of visiting an alternate universe if you don't get to do some funky things you would never be able to do at home?

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 22 Feb 2021 13:41 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 31

And shortly, no doubt, Owens will learn that his best friend has been kidnapped...

Very interesting reverie about the differences between alt-Owens and Owens-prime. And this Maya seems to be even more fun than Maya-prime.

Cross and double-cross.

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: I'm not sure if Owens would agree with you about this Maya but I guess she is a bit more lively, certainly compared to what she appeared liked the last time we saw Maya-Prime.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 15 Feb 2021 17:25 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 30

Ah the tool of spies and despots. Interesting twist that the poison is constructed of nanites - that creates some interesting possibilities. 

Which makes me wonder if this Lif bothered to poison his alter-ego - or if he underestimates him - or intends to use him in some other way...

Nice twist of events. And one that Garla should have seen coming from a mile away.

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: Garla really dropped the ball on this one, I agree. Let's see if she ever gets a chance to make up for this oversight.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 01 Feb 2021 11:36 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 29

That was a vibrant scene - straight from the old mirror universe from the original Trek. 

Didn't see that coming and should have - nicely done!

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: Being unpredictable is always a nice compliment. Glad you liked it.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 25 Jan 2021 14:01 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 27

Interesting storytelling technique through clairvoyance - a rather difficult trick. 

Very interesting that, at least from Nora's POV, the aliens seem to be targeting her. Either she is somehow a lynchpin or perhaps the weak link in the group trying to defy the clicky-aliens. 

And Garla was their point of contact for obtaining supplies. That was hinted in an earlier chapter, but the importance of it didn't come through until called back in this one.

Very twisty little plot - and kudos for working Gary Seven into it. Robert Lansing had a great career, but I would very much have liked to see him take that lead role.

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: This story has given me the opportunity to try something a little different as far as storytelling is confirmed on occasions. I wanted things to flow a little less linear and more chaotic. Not quite stream of consciousness but certainly something to highlight the fact that a lot of this stuff is happening in people's minds.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 18 Jan 2021 10:45 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 28

Definitely Texas Hold'em. The confrontation between alt-Michael and Star prime did not disappoint. Nor did alt-Donners. Tremendously fun chapter. And effective use of schadenfreude with Michael and alt-Michael - a device I generally dislike, but enjoyed quite a bit in this scene. 

I'm suspecting we will see disparate pieces of this puzzle - Xylion's team and Garla and the Lifs beginning to converge as we get back to the ring. One of the most fun things in this sort of story is trying to see how the different facets in the kaleidoscope come together.

Thanks! rbs

Author's Response: Glad you enjoyed this little ruckus. And yes, there are quite a few balls in the air here and without giving anything away, it's about to get a little bit more complicated still.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 11 Jan 2021 15:37 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 26

I'm still liking the monomaniacal alt-Michael. There's a certain purity about the character. 

Very fun development with Eagle prime showing up to save the day for alt-Eagle. 

Still eagerly waiting to see how the Stars align - or not. And it will be fun to see alt-Michael dealing with Star prime.

Question: is there an alt-wildcat?

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: Loving the idea of alt-Cosmo as Amaya's animal companion. Now that I think of it, maybe he did exist and the reason he's no longer around has added to this Donners' anguish and generally poor disposition.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 04 Jan 2021 07:26 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 25

Whatever happened to those ancient Romans...

Interesting exploration of the Garden of Forking Paths - what cultural development would have occurred if they turned right at Cygnus A instead of left...

Also some good character development with Garla. She seems to be asking the right questions. There is something not right with this Lif and evidently she can sense that. 

And some Sorrows of Empire reflections. Lots of threads in this chapter to follow.

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: You are right, there is a lot going on in this trilogy, and the story of Culsten and Garla and the Krellonian Star Alliance forms a part of this. Garla will have to make a decision soon, it seems. Thanks for reading, really enjoying the continued feedback.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 30 Dec 2020 15:02 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 24

Very nice mindscape sequence and really creative use of telepathy in storytelling. An infusion of backstory into the action - kudos!

Still very much looking forward to interaction with the Gary Seven character - hopefully more than just a message. 

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: Quite a bit of backstory here, some of which will make more sense to you know that you had a chance to catch-up with my earlier work. Some is barely explained, which is on purpose to keep up the pace and to attempt to make this trip as disorienting to the reader as it is to the characters. Originally I had planned to extend this chapter with glimpses into Diamond and Ivory's past as well, but ultimately dropped the idea since this chapter is already long enough as it is and I didn't think it would really add much to the story.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 21 Dec 2020 15:28 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 23

Classic alt-Trek burndown! After TOS, the vaporize function of the phasers was rarely used. And that ends one Jarik - but which one?

I'm quite enjoying the rage-monster Michael. Owens Prime might do with a little vicarious enjoyment of his alternate self - reminds me of good Kirk bad Kirk (not evil alt-Kirk) "I need my pain!" Kirk. 

I quite enjoyed the episode where Kirk was split by the transporter and it was revealed that Kirk without his dark side was rather useless.

I'm also looking forward to dancing with the Stars - it would be fun to get them together. And alt-Michael probably wouldn't care ending both of them - not much patience for trying to sort them out.

Very fun setup putting the Michaels together. 

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: I think Michael is far too horrified by all this to take any enjoyment from it. Although that shouldn't stop us as readers to be entertained by it all. I'm certainly glad that you are. More multi-verse shenanigans are coming up.

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