Date: 23 Aug 2020 11:19 Title: Episode 10.14 - Who Made The Hulk?
Time to drop some bombshells, eh?
Yeah, so the Galaxy only has a few thousand years left to live, the Romulans (again with the Romulans, these guys can't catch a break) may die off much sooner and, oh yeah, only the Borg can stop all this from happening.
Still not sure if we got answers on why the Vulcan admiral created a Bolian killing virus but that suddenly feels a lot less important.
Great job at retching up the tension even further. What a trip.
The romulans lost their homeworld and now thier part of space is being gradually steralized. They have a plan. It's a bad one.
I realized that I needed to fill out the vulcan conspiracy a little more (and deal with that rogue cardassian battle cruiser) and ended up writing a new scene each for Ep. 11 and 16, which I will post soon. From the vulcan perspective, what they are doing is perfectly logical. And the bolian virus is only the beginning of it...
I wanted my primary antagonist for the series to be a mindless force of nature that could not be negotiated with. And one that required immediate action to prevent horrible things from happening in the distant future. We're really good at procrastinating in the face of that sort of thing.
Date: 23 Aug 2020 11:13 Title: Episode 10.13 - The Library of the Progenitors
Yay to ring shaped super structures. From Ringworld, to Halo and the Expanse to Hunter and Quantum Divergence. Those things sure are popular.
I always felt Hunter's crew was a bit overqualified for their day jobs. Really comes in handy though when unraveling mysteries.
Those ring structures are definitely a staple of science fiction. As much as they appear in literature, I have to wonder why they haven't shown up on the screen. The CG technology to depict them has been available for some time.
Minerva Irons is uniquely influential in no small part thanks to her family connections. If she wants Star Fleet's prototype designed to break the warp 10 barrier, complete with its design team - and then to staff it with Ph.D.s, that's what she gets. And if she then wants it pulled out of the Star Fleet command structure and tasked directly by the Tribunal - well, she gets that, too. She's a very difficult person to say "no" to.
Date: 23 Aug 2020 11:03 Title: Episode 10.12 - The U.S.S. Defiant
If I were Norma I'd be pretty peeved off as well with the idea of some Starfleet lieutenant coming in and trying to comandeer the Defiant for some secretive mission.
Although I'm warming to Ivonovic I still don't trust the man. Can't yet tell if the council move is a way to try and shield himself from his dangerous enemies or a more sinister ploy.
Although I'm warmin to Ivonovic, I still don't trust the man and I can't yet say if the council move is an attempt to shield himself from his enemies or a more sinister ploy. Time will tell.
Canon (I found out later) has Captain Ro Laren in command of DS9. But I needed the Bajoran Army in command for this reason.
I'm glad you're warming to Ivonovic. What is a politician if not slippery? But Emory is a neophyte compared to the man he is about to meet in Ep 11 - the real puppet-master...
Date: 22 Aug 2020 12:49 Title: Episode 10.11 - Deus Ex Machina
What do you do when you know you only have minutes left to live?
What happens when it turns out you avoided certain death by unexpected and unknown means?
Mother Nature does that to young mammals when death is in the air. Something that makes horror movies quite useful.
And like pretty much everything else in STH - their little affair will bubble back up.
As will the big green machine.
Date: 22 Aug 2020 12:35 Title: Episode 10.10 - Conspiracy
I had been wondering about that ill-fated mission that kicked off this crazy adventure. Dolphin is right, it doesn't make much sense.
Very interesting developments. What is even more interesting is Ivanovic spilling the beans, clearly in fear of his life. Funny thing is, I think I believe him.
Is this why he invited Dolphin in the first place? What a delightful series of events.
I had decided not to start publishing until I had Ep 10 written (which ends Year 1). I had written myself into a corner with that opening disaster, but realized at some point that would give me the opportunity to develop the unlikely friendship between these two very different men that really drives the rest of the story and is a huge turning point in both their lives.
I'm gratified that you find Emroy believable - so does Kenny...
Thanks again for the kind words!! rbs
Date: 22 Aug 2020 12:26 Title: Episode 10.9 - Assistant Medical Director Jazz Sam Sinder
Well, that clears up the chain of command. At least as far as sickbay is concerned.
Tali has a bit of a theatrical flair, doesn't she? She could have just come out with his promotion before going into that long speech. Still nicely played.
I'm going to keep my eyes on Boles. He's an interesting character.
Tali and Napoleon are similar in personality - irascable, short tempered, and definitely big on drama - both from aristocratic families. Big egos are fun to write.
Glad you're enjoying Boles - he has a big story arc.
Date: 19 Aug 2020 20:20 Title: Episode 10.8 - Gamma Gun Galaxy
Oh wow, the Hunter just discovered another galaxy. These guys really get around. I'm sure there aren't many starships out there that can make that kind of boast. Not a lot of capital size explorers, and certainly not in a compact little police cutters.
I did feel I was pushing it with this one considering the Hubble telescope has discovered 10,000 galaxies so far. Chances are high the galaxy would already have been discovered (but not necessarily its significance.)
But I think the science is reasonably accurate about a black hole emitting gamma bursts. Which is the one planet killer we can't at the moment imagine a defense against. In the near future we should be able to ward off asteroids and maybe even control caulderas.
Date: 19 Aug 2020 20:13 Title: Episode 10.7 - Fundamentals of Federation Ethics
I've hear of the sayin about a thousand lawyers at the bottom of the ocean but "Paradise is not possible without lawyers" is a new one for me.
I'm sure Matlok would approve.
The continues to be a highly cerebral debate but, considering he title of this episode, I really shouldn't be surprised.
Fortunately, Dolphin only wrote three books...
I'm taking my cue from Stephen Pinker and other philosophers regarding the rule of law vs. the honor system, which it replaced.
Date: 17 Aug 2020 20:24 Title: Episode 10.6 - Prognosis
I know Tauk is suffering from a serious medical condition but please sign me up to 11 hours of sleep a day, including multiple naps. Sounds delightful.
Obviously I won't get anything done, like ever. I bet Tauk will have much the same complaint.
That and there is the irony of the Director of Ground Operations being restricted to shipboard duty..
Date: 17 Aug 2020 20:17 Title: Episode 10.5 - The Impact of Humanity on Pon Farr
I agree with everything Dophin says. Still, doesn't change the fact that he sounds quite preachy up there on his soap box.
What I can't figure out here is Ivonovic's game. This seems to fly into the face of his agenda. What you up to, gov'nor?
Emory is playing the long game. And he's playing Kenny Dolphin like a big old bassoon...
Date: 16 Aug 2020 11:12 Title: Episode 10.4 - Navigating Romulan Space
Further up than Starfleet? What, did the president sign off on this personally?
I recently finished watching ST: Picard (and enjoyed it for the most part) but I'm assuming that it is not considered canon for the Hunter-verse, since the Romulans factored quite heavily into that show which was set in a similar era, I think.
Also, good to see Tauk recovering after what must have been a successful surgery.
I didn't see the first episode of Picard until after I had written Ep. 23.11 - The Venus Incident. I have deliberatly avoided watching STP and Star Trek Discovery (and Lower Decks) until I'm done with STH. I thought I was done in March, but I recently realized I had given the Klingon War of Agression at the end of the story short shrift and decided that an additional 8 new scenes would be needed. I've written 5 and will probably have the remainder by the end of the week. Which will give me a few months to wordsmith them before I post them here.
The romulans are a huge part of STH.
Justice Irons is a Section 31 agent and the director ordered her on this mission (the scene with Riker.) For her, both Section 31 and the Tribunal are higher authorities. But she's not going to tell her crew any of that...
Date: 16 Aug 2020 11:03 Title: Episode 10.3 - The Morality of Hybridizing Intelligent Species
That's some heavy stuff in this chapter and I don't even know if I've absorbed all of it.
One point I noted straight away are the parallels to contemporary society. I think you have quite purposefully modeled future Earth close to contemporary Earth, down to the names of the civil service departments looking after it people. Most startling, to me at least, is that your future Earth is clearly no utopia as envisioned by Roddenberry. Racism, crime, injustice etc. are still very much a real thing.
That helps make this story feel particularly relevant and topical.
The hybridization argument, which of course is a key theme in this series, is fascinating. It feels both new and topical because it seems like the next logical (not pun intended) issue society may struggle with once it finally accepts being truly diverse. Is there such a thing as racial identity and if not, how does hybridization affect cultural identity?
What is interesting in your argument is that genetics and genetic manipulation play a big role in making hybridization possible. I don't believe Trek generally takes into account that cross species procreation may require a fair amount of meddling with genetics, I know I haven't. But if that were the case, and there is no reason to believe it wouldn't, you've got yourself one big ethical quagmire to contend with.
One which you are spelling out quite splendidly in this chapter and in Hunter generally.
I'm really gratified you dug deep into this scene. I actually think Roddenberry was spot on about our future. But if we do get there (and I think we will) it won't be human nature that gets us there. It will be our institutions.
Genetically, we are indistinguishable from our ancestors of only 5,000 years ago who thought that sacrificing children by burning them alive might be a good way to control the weather. What has made life so much better for us is the rule of law and institutionalized humanism.
The very first line in this story is a quote by Dr. Kenny Dolphin: "Utopia is not possible without the rule of law. There can be no paradise without lawyers."
Star Trek Enterprise opened the furrow of genetic engineering being needed for successful hybrids with the storyline about T'Pol's and Trip's baby. Their baby died because the Earth First movement held the child hostage and would not allow her the genetic modification she needed to keep her vulcan and human immune systems from shredding each other.
And thanks again for the kind words!! rbs
Date: 16 Aug 2020 10:42 Title: Episode 10.2 - The Procedure
T'Lon you sly little Vulcan, you. Nicely played.
Looks like Tauk might stick around for a while after all. Not a good feeling though, to know that you are on borrowed time.
I really wanted to explore a character with a short clock. Tauk became a favorite for a few readers.
I'm quite pleased you commented on T'Lon's ability to recognize and use other people's emotions. She is 100% vulcan - but a terrestrial one. Born and raised in Hawaii. Which gives her an extra toolkit.
Date: 16 Aug 2020 10:40 Title: Episode 10.1 - Pilgrim's Landing
Well, he might be an intergalactic fugitive, but that doesn't mean he can't be charming. Although curious that his network, i.e. his associates at New Pilgrim haven't been shut down yet by Starfleet.
Her might still have connections in high places.
Emory is a politician. Charm is his stock in trade. And he's a lot smarter and far more ambitious than he lets on.
I'm really gratified that you picked up on how odd it is that Emory's operation has not been rolled up. Kenny will ask him that very question soon enough... And he will eventually blindside an admiral with that same question...
Date: 12 Aug 2020 19:39 Title: Episode 9.15 - Fleet Admiral Scumuk
As far as famous last words go these were pretty ... intense. FELIX!
The reference to gamma radiation and a hulk makes me wonder if we're looking at some sort of Marvel Universe crossover here. Honestly, it probably wouldn't be the strangest things in this entirely unpredictable story of yours.
Glad you enjoyed the Fleet Admiral's demise..
I can promise you this story remains firmly rooted in the Star Trek universe and never becomes a crossover
Not Marvel (although the hulk and gamma radiation are central to the story - and Dewayne Guth was born and raised in Waconda)
Not Middle Earth (although the crew goes surfing in Numinor, meets Finrod and Sauron's Orcs show up late in the story to battle klingons)
Not Pern (although it does include a dragon rider - Ep 13.4)
Not Avatar the Last Airbender (although Justice Irons and Flight Specialist Joey Chin were both born and raised in Ba Sing Se)
Not Foundation (although special agents from the Trantor Police Dept. become important characters)
And then there's Santa's Workshop... (Ep 13.12)
I just really enjoy throwing curve balls... Thanks!! rbs
Date: 12 Aug 2020 19:33 Title: Episode 9.14 - Tauk's Notes
Interesting, so this place wasn't the Library at all, instead it's an entirely different, mich more mysterious place. Well that had me fooled. I'm a sucker for good treasure hunt though, so I'm game for this.
Poor Tauk though is on borrowed time and may not get to see the end of this journey.
2 libraries for the price of 1...
It's been a long time since you read Episode 1 - Flash Forward, but that is actually a scene from Episode 20 (told from a different POV) and Tauk is in it, so you know he makes it as far as Episode 20...
Date: 10 Aug 2020 20:55 Title: Episode 9.13 - The Moon/Sun/Kim Upgrades
Bit of a slow burn on the virus plot but clearly progress is being made.
I have to admit I've totally missed that Dr. Kim is a hologram.
The Hunter carries three holograms - Hunter (the avatar), the EMH (Dr. Raj) and the Tactical Medical Hologram (Dr. Kim) who was ejected from the tactical unit because her programming was contaminated.
Kenny rescued Dr. Kim in an EVA mission - retreiving her data carte - which action just keeps paying off as she becomes an incrasingly important character.
Date: 10 Aug 2020 20:51 Title: Episode 9.12 - Destim Ski
Fascinating creatures, these waterbirds, if you forgive the pun. The idea of talking birds is of course not far fetched at all, but there intelligence puts them more on the level of other intelligent avian species.
I recall seeing some video of parrots behaving very intelligently - correclty naming objects, describing colors and asking for things they wanted with surprisingly clear voices.
The spookiest of these was a parrot that said "I want to go back." It meant it wanted to ride on the researcher's back. But it sounded like the bird was being nostalgic - which was just totally creepy.
Date: 09 Aug 2020 09:58 Title: Episode 9.11 - A Sample of Mlady
Looks like progress is being made. Feel bad for poor Tauk.
Yeah - he's in for a rough time. I wanted to explore a character who refuses life saving medical care for ethical reasons.
Date: 09 Aug 2020 09:54 Title: Episode 9.10 - Denobulan Nail Care
Okay, I though the nail care thing was a joke. Apparently not.
Love Birlaura reflection on the Denobulan's initial impression of humans and how different the galaxy was back in those days. I can totally see that Earth didn't have the greatest reputation when they first joined the intergalactic community.
And look at them now, practically running things.
I was a little concerned about the timeline, but I think it sounds about right. I knod of like the irony that species that considered humans to be dangerous pests are now sheltering under their military muscle. Emory Ivonovic will have a thing or two to say about that...
I'm glad the nail care caught you off guard. Part of the fun of this series is teasing the absurd and then going there.
Date: 08 Aug 2020 10:33 Title: Episode 9.9 - Fleet Admiral Scumuk's Notes
Memory Alpha, this is not. This feels much more like one of those ancient libraries once comes across in fantasy literature. Which makes this much more atmospheric.
The task of studying tomes of writing feels much more cerebral than what these guys usually do, but they are clearly up to the task. After all, old-school investigative work often means, quite literally, doing a lot of reading and studying.
There is a touch of Scooby Doo and a little bit of Homocide, Baltimore to this scene. I used Memory Alpha and Beta as references, but pretty much went my own way with the Star Trek universe.
I'm glad you called out the scrappy tactical team having to crack the books and translate vulcan ciphers - in the Vulcan language - for a massive detective job. That's the "and other duties as assigned" part of their job descriptions.
Date: 08 Aug 2020 10:28 Title: Episode 9.8 - The Sanctuary of the Waterbirds
Yeah, damned fine piloting with an flawless landing tagged on.
But the main attraction here are clearly those beautifully described caverns and those hyper-intelligent animals which I suppose, might as well be called fully sapient inhabitants .
Really glad you liked this one! One of the reasons I set out to write this series was a number of fantastic locatiosn I wanted to explore. Among them, the Sanctuary of the Waterbirds on Cophus II. And eventually, you will witness those birds singing...
This story will also eventually take you to Numinor, Ba Sing Se, Trantor and Pern - without ever becoming a crossover story or leaving the Star Trek universe...
Date: 06 Aug 2020 20:24 Title: Episode 9.7 - Doctor, Lawyer, Boss
Just struck me that this series really is about people who are many things. And by that I don't not just mean multi species hybrids.
Boles' story is pretty darned dark and depressing. I guess I can forgive him for some of his antics.
People are complicated. And deeply wounded characters are fun to write.
Everyone has baggage. Napoleon Boles has freight.
Glad you're enjoying him! Thanks!! rbs
Date: 06 Aug 2020 20:16 Title: Episode 9.6 - Representing Dr. Blue
I'm not sure if this makes me more worried about Boles or Mlady. Perhaps I should be concerned for anybody Mlady could get her claws on (in?) if her appetite isn't sated.
They both have a way of taking care of themselves...
Glad you're enjoying the story! Thanks!! rbs
Date: 05 Aug 2020 19:32 Title: Episode 9.5 - Section 31
A doubly unexpected encounter here with a good portion of whacky humor thrown in.
Irons it seems is quite the Renaissance Woman. She knows everybody and has dabbled in everything, even that which is unknown to the majority of her peers. A formidable woman, no doubt. And now on a secret mission for a shady intelligence outfit.
Well.. she is almost 160 years old - she's been around... Which makes her a fun character to write. I'm glad you enjoyed her banter with Riker - and it was a bit fun to write Riker too.