Date: 03 Dec 2020 20:57 Title: Episode 16.19 - Slavers: A Voice in the Dark
Well, that's certainly a novel way to deliver orders. Very Inception-ish.
And what a tall task for Irons. As if I needed any more evidence that Section 31 is up to no good. Bashir must have gone through quite a gauntlet to reach this point.
Looking forward to see where Hunter and Irons go from here, not to mention the future of Vulcan, the Romulans, the Federation and pretty much the rest of the galaxy.
I had the idea that Slade recruited Julian as his hand-picked succesor as Director of Section 31. He's really into the cloak and dagger and showed his dark side a few times in DS9 - particularly in the ep with the idiot/savants. He makes a great dark chess master... If occasionally a little whiny.
Glad you're enjoying the story as the plots thicken...
Date: 02 Dec 2020 20:25 Title: Episode 16.18 - Slavers: The Solution
I suppose sometimes you just happen to fall ass backward into the right answer.
It was a little more dignified here but still mostly nothing more than fortuitous serendipity.
It helps to be really, really smart, too, no doubt.
1. Beat your head against the problem. 2. The answer will present itself when you're no longer trying. 2 only comes after 1.
And it helps to have a smart friend to stop you from throwing away the answer...
Date: 01 Dec 2020 23:43 Title: Episode 16.17 - Slavers: 2 Romulas
Interesting rationale for the invasion of Vulcan by the Romulans. I had forgotten that this is taking place post the Hobus Incident.
One thing that seems odd to me is Vulcans location in relation to the Romualn Empire. I could be mistaken, of course, but isn't Vulcan deep in Federation space? If so, the Romulans may struggle to get a massive space lift into Vulcan going as they'd find themselves surrounded by a hostile Federation and Starfleet.
Interestingly, this theme is not too dissimilar to recent events depicted in Discovery, though that show is getting increasingly implausible to me for my money. And I appreciate Hunter predates the current season of Disc, I believe.
I've only seen the first episode of Discovery and Picard - and that was after I had written 23.15 JAG Wars - The Venus Incident. STD didn't really enthuse me despite Michelle Yeoh - one of my favorite actors. And I realized I couldn't watch STP until I was finished writing STH. I wrote the last scene for STH, 19.5 The Ivonovic Commission - Stroke of Luck, on 10/20. (I didn't write all of this in order - I wrote the beginning, some of the middle and the end first and then filled in the middle.)
I looked at a lot of star charts when doing the research. Most of them showed Earth uncomfortably close to the Klingon border and Vulcan uncomfortably close to the Romulan border. Which kind of tracks with the travel times from Earth to Qo'noS and from Vulcan to Romulus in the various movies, STE and STNG. It's still a journey of several days in both cases. But the romulans do have the advantage of cloaking technology...
Glad you found the politics interesting. More on that to come... Thanks!! rbs
Date: 29 Nov 2020 14:03 Title: Episode 16.16 - Slavers: The Second Battle for Pillo
Okay, this series is just packed with WTF moments. I hadn't even realized there was a war on. This came out of nowhere. Dang.
No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!! Romulans don't declare war. They just show up when they're ready and you're not.
I did give one clue - in 16.10 Canada mentions warning SFI about a plot to hand Vulcan over to the romulans.
You might recall the name Vice Admiral Senvol - he's the vulcan that was talking to the Director of Section 31 in 16.4: "You have ordered me to my death... I go without hesitation..."
Date: 29 Nov 2020 13:55 Title: Episode 16.15 - Slavers: Pod People
Looks like the rescue mission was a complete success.
Smart call to sedate the kids. Not everyone would have thought of doing that.
Also, nice bit of a possibly prophetic message at the end about Dolphin. So far, he's had a bit of a hero complex but in this story, I wouldn't be shocked to find out if his trajectory changes to the dark side at some point.
Well, Dolphin is a Section 31 agent. And Section 31 tends to corrupt everything it touches...
Glad you enjoyed this chapter - Thanks!! rbs
Date: 23 Nov 2020 12:50 Title: Episode 16.14 - Slavers: The Badlands
No singing! Honestly, don't blame Irons for cutting it short. They have bigger things to deal with. Although I'm sure that was one hell of a performance.
Sounds like the two using the flight suits were very lucky indeed. I thought that technology was a little too fancy for the Maquis.
Glad you got a kick out of the singing schtick. Krull is actually a pivotal character even though he only appears in two episodes. Like Pomm, he is really good at being underestimated.
They were lucky... and Pomm does mention later on that he checked and modified the suits.
Date: 21 Nov 2020 12:55 Title: Episode 16.13 - Slavers: The Market (Part 2 of 2)
Well, that was certainly nice of them to rescue those slaves. Made me feel better after the last chapter, certainly.
And the Orion slave girls learned an important lesson that most fighters have known for centuries. Long hair just gets you killed.
I wanted to show the Orion slave girls as powerful fighters - but that's not their primary role. And to have a taste of what the new tactical squad can do.
This chapter is Tali's hero moment - not because she rescues a lot of slaves, including children, but because she makes the tough choice of sacrificing the slaves purchased by the romulan woman and the ferengi. It's a choice she is trained to make as a Section 31 agent - the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. If she had tried to save everyone, she wouldn't have saved anyone - which is kind of what Damon Trock explained to her. That's a big theme that runs through STH.
Date: 21 Nov 2020 12:48 Title: Episode 16.12 - Slavers: The Market (Part 1 of 2)
Oh man, I know slavery is common in Trek, particularly with the Orions. But slave children. Come on, man, that's harsh.
Thankfully you made up for that depressing imagery with some fast and also humorous action by introducing a different type of nerve pinch.
Glad you enjoyed the poop pinch...
STH looks directly at race hatred, slavery and exploitatin of the innocent. All of which come from people thinking they're better than other people. And as much as possible, I try to show people as neither good nor bad, but individuals making tough moral choices.
I suspect you wil really like Sub Commander Nikato when you meet him in 17.3...
Date: 19 Nov 2020 21:21 Title: Episode 16.11 - Slavers: The F.M.S. Usotro
So far so good. But plans have a habit to go terrible askew especially for a team operating behind enemy lines without backup except for a greedy Ferengi.
Well, whatever happens next, I've no doubt it will be highly entertaining.
This is the first part of a chapter that I divided into 3 parts because it was just way too long and I wanted some of the punch lines to have a little more punch.
And kick.. And...
Well - stay tuned...
Date: 18 Nov 2020 21:42 Title: Episode 16.10 - Slavers: TPD Unit 1-ADM-12
Canada is back. And it looks like we've got a new investigator to boot. Clearly not a replacement. I guess Anana will be to Lynhart what Ezri was to Jadzia. And that's okay in my book.
And yeah, I caught the Adam-12 reference. Clever.
I'm always pleased when someone notices one of my easter eggs.
I'm glad you appreciate that Anana is not a replacement for Shran, but an entirely different personality with an entirely different skill set.
Date: 18 Nov 2020 21:28 Title: Episode 16.9 - Slavers: Vengeon-Roux
A rather interesting, Lord of the Flies inspired encounter. How long exactly have these people been hiding in that cave? One might think there may have been better places to seek refuge. Then again, maybe not if they got stranded.
I think in a future chapter, Pomm mentions that he and Oarama have been running Pivin the Betrayer for 9 years. They set up this escape refuge in preparation for her missions, so the romulans might have been there as long as 8 years. Probably arriving via escape pods.
Glad you enjoyed this one! Thanks!! rbs
Date: 16 Nov 2020 20:00 Title: Episode 16.7 - Slavers: And Then There Were Three
A healthy dose of politics here. But probably more pressingly, a new mission going right into the belly of the beast.
I can already think of half a dozen ways this could go terribly wrong.
It was a way of explaining what Ivonovic has been up to - not just sitting on his hands.
As for the mission - yeah...
Date: 14 Nov 2020 12:43 Title: Episode 16.6 - Slavers: The Battle of Coridan Corridor
There has to be a lot of money in slavery for the Orion Syndicate to willing provoke such a significant and ultimately futile battle with Starfleet.
An interesting aspect of your Trek-verse is the continued presence of non-Starfleet ships in Federation efforts. Not something we've seen a lot but it does add an interesting dynamic.
Also, is this a sign of some possible xenophobic sentiments within Starfleet? I didn't realize so many Orions served in Starfleet or, for that matter, that they had any form of proper government. Makes sense though.
The orions aren't the only ones walking into a trap...
You put your finger on one of the main themes in STH.
Date: 14 Nov 2020 12:35 Title: Episode 16.5 - Slavers: Lord Wooten-Sandleigh
Well, there is no doubt Alstars is a character to watch in this story. Who says space exploration is a young man's game?
Took a minute but it looks like you are slowly tying in the events from the teaser. Curious to see where this goes.
He definitely has a critical job to do.
Glad you're enjoying the mystery...
Date: 14 Nov 2020 12:29 Title: Episode 16.4 - Slavers: The Needs of the Many
Section 31 doing Section 31 things. But this time with Jedi powers. Or rather Sith ones.
"You never know the power of the Dark Side". Sorry, wrong franchise, I know, but, I couldn't help myself.
Section 31 is very good at what they do.
The scary thing is, they truly believe they are the unsung heroes.
The scarier thing is, they might be right...
Date: 14 Nov 2020 12:24 Title: Episode 16.3 - Slavers: Self Sealing Stem Bolts
Well, I'm obviously a fan of cantankerous old veterans who've done it all and seen it all and are not shy to teach their juniors the errors of their ways.
I'm quite certain Alstars (All Stars?) and Katanga would get on famously.
Also loving the little Back to the Future reference (quite poignant considering recent time travel shenanigans), not to mention the return of one of my favorite Trek-themed running gags, the infamous self-sealing stembolts. At least these guys know what to do with them. Kinda.
A bit of a pun - Moon, Sun and Alstars in the engine room. Glad you're enjoying Geoff - he could definitely relate to Katanga.
I totally had to work in those self-sealing stembolts somewhere...
Date: 12 Nov 2020 20:56 Title: Episode 16.2 - Slavers: Possum-Chicken
Neat introduction to fancy new ships and characters here, including the return of an old favorite in a new position.
In best Hunter tradition, you're playing things close to the vest and I can only guess at what these guys are up to.
The canvas is getting larger. Glad you're enjoying it - Thanks!! rbs
Date: 11 Nov 2020 21:13 Title: Episode 16 - Slavers
Oh, okay, I've missed the title of this episode. That might help explain some of the things in the preceding teaser, not to mention the presence of Orions.
Always thought Orions are fascinating and slavers are always good villains. Like Nazis they usually more than deserve their fates.
Who doesn't love those sexy orion slave girls? Pep's grandmother was one...
STH episodes are kind of grouped. 12-15 are pretty much consecutive. 16-23 are the next run with maybe a week in between each.
Date: 11 Nov 2020 21:08 Title: Episode 16.1 - Slavers: Flying By the Seat of their Pants
Ah, yes, I remember the obese fellow from an earlier story. However, that appearance seems unconnected to what's going on here. In fact, I haven't got a clue what they're up to other than that they seemed to have planned fairly well.
Those suits are pretty handy and fairly neat tech to be cobbled together by the Maquis.
Curious to find out how Hunter will fit into this beyond family connections.
Pomm's a fun character to write. Fat people are easy to underestimate...
This episode takes place a few months after Ep. 15 with the Hunter far from the Badlands. Ep 16 is a fairly broad canvas.
Date: 09 Nov 2020 20:14 Title: Episode 15.10 - A Stitch In Spacetime: The Sun, the Moon and All the Stars
Another colorful and certainly more than ordinary crewmember joins Hunter. Gotta hand it to ya, none of these characters are boring.
Thanks again for the kind words. Geoff is a fun character - crochety old codgers are particularly fun to write.
Date: 08 Nov 2020 10:50 Title: Episode 15.9 - A Stitch In Spacetime: In With the New
A really interesting new tactical team makes an appearance. Love the fact that they are an all-female team and not just because they are attractive. Women in traditional male roles are often still portrayed as an oddity or are a token presence.
That should be very different in the 24th century, so I like that. I also think its pretty cool that they are all tall. A bit of a pet peeve of mine is that Hollywood loves to cast small and petite looking women. So that's what we often get to see. You're going against that stereotype here.
On the other hand, considering the history of this ship, the fact that they are all one race, even if it is Betazoid rather than Bolian, Trill or Vulcan who have shown to be vulnerable to certain types of attack, sounds like it could lead to a whole lot of trouble.
Thanks for the kind words - really glad you liked this one!
I had actually planned them into the story from the beginning - a mid-story refresh with several new characters. I created this team before creating the group they replaced. Two more new people to add...
Date: 08 Nov 2020 10:36 Title: Episode 15.8 - A Stitch In Spacetime: Out With the Old
Perhaps the biggest tell that this crew has hurt as much as it has, and lost so many people, is the the fact that there's nearly nobody out there surfing as the ship returns to his home away from home at Ocean.
Bittersweet installment here.
I'm really pleased that came through. I added the surfing originally as a fun thing to give a unique flavor. But it just because a through-line that served all kinds of purposes.
Date: 05 Nov 2020 09:14 Title: Episode 15.7 - A Stitch In Spacetime: The Nine Lives of Dr. Sarekson Carrera
I think this is by far the wackiest story in the Hunter series so far. Pretty impressed to see how you still manage to weave it altogether with your larger narrative. That is some great overall plotting.
Thanks again for the kind words!
Hopefully there will be plenty of unexpected twists yet to come...
Date: 04 Nov 2020 20:53 Title: Episode 15.6 - A Stitch In Spacetime: Bob
The comedic tone in this story reminds me a lot of Hitchhiker's Guide. And also kudos for the great Trek connections. I've certainly hadn't come across the theory that the Traveller might me a Progenitor but I can see how it makes sense. There may even be a bit of a visual resemblance if I remember correctly.
Big Adams fan - thanks for the kind words!!
The traveler a progenitor is a bit of stetch - especilly because of his hands. But a subspecies variant... still a stretch. But close enough for my purposes...