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Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 29 Nov 2022 03:16 Title: Part 7 - Collapse: 3

Yeah - Michael's going to need a multiverse qualified shrink once this is all over. Tyrantus' demise alone is going to give him nightmares, not to mention seeing his crew slaughtered all around him. 

So Bensu... good? bad? insane? cause of the madness? or solution? You've definitely done some serious slight of hand with this character. 

And back to the Frobird for one more desperate attempt to fly into the nexus. You're going to have to work some Yellow Submarine monsters into this next segment - at least the Sea of Holes...

Maybe the big bad behind it all is the Vacuumcleanersaurus.

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: Are you suggesting that there might be some sort of lack of clarity around Bensu's motivations here? Something like an "uncertainty principle"? (See what I did there?). I can practically guarantee that there will be no banana-colored submersibles forthcoming in this story. As for a Sea of Holes? Stay tuned.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 29 Nov 2022 03:08 Title: Part 7 - Collapse: 2

Kind of like the king of mailmen: Through Inth, Romulan fleet and borg... Okay - on second read, I get that he kind of looped his way around the Inth using the Westron Universal Jump Drive. Which is where all these spectoral alt-Michaels get to partially emerge.

It would cost a fortune to screen this scene.

Raganorok on LSD with a hint of wasabi with a Boom Boom Satellites sound track...

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: I certainly cannot condone the use of any kinds of hallucinogenics or mind-altering substances, but at the same time I wouldn't rule out that consuming any of such might help convey what Michael Owens is going through in this chapter.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 16 Nov 2022 00:12 Title: Part 7 - Collapse: 1

Totally psychotic with shades of the STNG episode "Parallels" - only more psychotic. If Douglas Adams were writing it, he would have dubbed it "The Furball at the End of the Universe." It links up with Raganorok pretty well. 

I like the idea of Michael having to narrow it down to saving at least one Maya because saving the multi-verse is just impossible for him to wrap his (justifiably shell-shocked) brain around.

I saw that Galen4 really appreciated your resurrection of Commander Varon from the theoretical footnote he had been languishing in - class act.

So I gather the next act will test Michael within an Inth of his sanity...

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: "Parallels" is a good call. There are definitely shades of that episode throughout QD. And I see what you've done there with the Inth ... clever.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 30 Oct 2022 01:25 Title: Part 6 - Last Grasp: 9

Really a good pressure building sequence and most of it accomplished via dialogue. But quite vivid descriptions of the action.

I'm quite looking forward to seeng how the advent of Michael in the Fromobile. I want to see what's in its weskit...

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: Hey, thanks for the kind words. And yes, things are about to heat up a bit. And the Fro-mobile (TM) will play a key role as well.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 22 Oct 2022 01:24 Title: Part 6 - Last Grasp: 8

The Michael/Maya romance is more than starcrossed - multi-verse-crossed? Things just keep ending badly for them. And this time he literally got burned.

Okay... I'm really looking forward to finding out what the Fromobile does. I knew from a storytelling standpoint that Michael would be crucial to the reality-ending shenanigans going on in the Omega-smasher by flying in at the last minute... But not why...

Well, it's not THAT Michael is flying in, apparently it's WHAT he's flying in.

My other prediction - another dead person will die again...

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: Couple's counseling is going to be tough for those two, I wager. And yes, things are about to come to head. I'd say all bets are off. Wanna keep the suspense going, after all.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 10 Oct 2022 03:49 Title: Part 6 - Last Grasp: 7

The other relationship that's been smouldering in the marginalia - Xylion and Bensu... Xylion hasn't been given much to go on - just a few dark hints that Bensu might not be the unlikely hero, but the somewhat more likely destroyer. That's a delicate balance to maintain as a writer - giving the audience far more and seeing Xylion getting only a few dark hints. It definitely worked - it will be interesting to see how Xylion not only copes with the difficulty fo the moment, but also the evidence that Owens in particular did not entrust him with this information - such as it was.

Definitlely looking forward to seeing more of the Matt/Michael/Fro story.

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: Maybe I should've named this Quantum Marginalia. I'm glad you're enjoying the little nuances and sub-plots as much as the main story. A lot of thought has gone into developing these various strands. Not everything always comes together the way I'd hoped, and I guess you could make the argument that as writer you can fine-tune these kind of things until the cows come home. Of course then, nobody would ever get to read any of it.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 10 Oct 2022 03:40 Title: Part 6 - Last Grasp: 6

“This is by far the worst idea that pointy-eared, walking database of a man has ever come up with... just make sure you don’t inadvertently fry some of these people’s brains during this cockeyed stunt of yours,” Classic Katanga... 

I know we're coming into crunch time, but I'm really hoping to see more indepth exploration of the Matt/Fro relationship. Looks like it just might take center stage soon and it's a really interesting dynamic that's been slowly smouldering in the marginalia.

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: Thanks, glad that we've reached a Classic Katanga stage.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 27 Sep 2022 08:27 Title: Part 6 - Last Grasp: 5

Michael has what my father dubbed as the "defication touch" - everything he touches turns to shit - certainly working its effect in this universe. He shows up at one planet after another and all hell breaks loose - and now Maya's ship and Maya herself. Sooner or later that's gotta sting.

And his doppelgangers are just as relentless as he is, which, considering they all turn out to be enemies, is really not helpful. If you go universe hopping and find out that every other version of you you encounter turns out to be a shit, that would have to sting sooner or later too.

There's a general rule in writing that you should put your lead character through as much hell as possible. You're definitely taking that one to heart...

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: That made me laugh out loud, thanks. I had not considered this at all, but I guess there's nothing like a good gauntlet of suffering to put a protagonist through. One thing is for damned sure: There'll be a lot of sleepless nights in Michael Owens' future.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 21 Sep 2022 10:05 Title: Part 6 - Last Grasp: 4

I'm surprised that I'm just now noticing the word play in the title for this part - I think I had been reading it as "Last Gasp."

Not Lif's best moments - he goes from snipping at his aunt - whom he knows actually cares about the Outlanders - to borderline barratry in vain hopes of protecting her. Of course, considering what he's been through during the past 3 universes, his brain has every right to be liverwurst. Still, something that will have to be addressed.

I'm particularly enjoying the Garla character arc. That's a character with vicious demons distorting her every decision - and managing to keep a somewhat even keel. But her she is in pursuit of her "best destiny" for at least the 3rd time - definitely someone seeking absolution while still running away from her problems. Really looking forward to how this arc works out.

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: I think Star is giving Lif a break, at least for now. With the exception of Owens, he's probably gone through the wringer more than anyone else over the course of this story. No doubt, he won't come out of this unscarred.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 13 Sep 2022 01:52 Title: Part 6 - Last Grasp: 3

Really liking the writing around Taz's long overdue anxiety attack. It really puts you in her headspace. 

Wes Frobisher has become an unexpected favorite recurring character. Of all the doppelgangers, the Fros have the greatest variety - from stereotypical mad scientist to almost action hero. I really like the Matt/Wes relationship - something that Michael never seems to have understood. Like it or not, Wes is family and I'm looking forward to seeing Michael wrestling more with that.

Taz seems to have an instinctual distrust of Bensu that goes beyond Michael's cryptic warning. Bensu has been MIA of late, so that will be a character I'm eager to catch up with. I suspect he won't take his omission from the mission lightly...

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: I've had a lot of fun turning Frobisher from a villain into a kind of hero in this tale. It's an interesting development and I think works particulalry well because of what has been established in previous stories about this character. It's also fun for me as a lot of these themes are coming full circle over a decade after these characters first premiered. I don't like to think of Star Eagle like a TV show, but if if it were, it be a one very long running show, or, perhaps more appropriately, a very long movie series.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 13 Sep 2022 01:43 Title: Part 6 - Last Grasp: 2

There's a fun, doomed forever no-mance going between Michael and Maya. Every Maya and every Michael just never manage to get it together. This has the feeling of a manga - actually the makings of a decent Trek-manga. 

In fact, the entire series might make a really great graphic novel - assuming you could find the talent, negotiate the rights, arrange funding, retain an agent, a manager and a lawyer... Well - it would make a nice graphic novel.

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: I'm not hugly into mangas, but a Trek-manga does sounds like fun. As does a graphic novel. But I guess you've just listed all the reasons that's likely never going to happen. I'm glad though that you are enjoying the Michael-Maya tragedy. Who knows, there may be a happy end for these guys in some universe out there.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 01 Sep 2022 22:52 Title: Part 6 - Last Grasp: 1

Both Garla and Lif have done a lot of growing in this series. Not surprising for Lif - he's young. But for Garla to start exhibiting not just emotional, but apparently spiritual growth is a great surprise. There's a sense that she's finally beginning to find some peace - and in the most stressful situations she's ever known. It would be a riot if she were to turn into some sort of krellonian Buddha...

Meanwhile, Lif has to be realizing he is living his best Lif, having seen so many other versions who didn't run away turn out so poorly. He may not know it, but he's on the cusp of a spiritual revelation himself. He might become the leader his people need - but he's got a lot more growing to do.

Taz, on the other hand, isn't there yet. And she's been through the wringer even more than Garla. But it doesn't feel like she's about to flower - she seems beaten down. Deen might be the first to notice that Taz needs some support.

I'm liking very much how these character arcs are coming through so strongly in an action-packed adventure.

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: Garla becoming a Buddha-like figure? Not sure if that's in the cards, but I do like the idea. And you're right, that would be a hell of a turnaround for the character. Yeah, and Lif has definitely done some growing in QD, although it ain't over yet, so we'll see how much he's got left to do. Bit harsh on poor Taz. The lady's got a lot on her plate, I would argue more than Garla. Sure the latter had aspirations to change all of her society, but Tazla no doubt feels the weight of multiple universes on her shoulders. Awesome, analysis, thanks.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 24 Aug 2022 22:43 Title: Part 5 - Infiltration: 9

Totally love Michael seeing Bizarro Borg Michael - and while being repaired by the borg. Great creepy scene. Sic semper Tyrantus? Too soon?

And loving the twist with the Dominion to the rescue (granted, that wasn't their first objective...)

Now the question is all about Maya 3.0 - she certainly risked enough to save Michael. But why? Yeah, she sort of likes him, but there's got to be a LOT more to it than that...

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: Yeah, the Borg are the ultimate creeps, aren't they? And it's so much worse if the Borg is also wearing your face. As for Maya, maybe she's just got a heart of gold. I think Michael already has his theories as to why she does the things she does.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 24 Aug 2022 22:25 Title: Part 5 - Infiltration: 8

Garla is the consumate operative and this situation is testing her formidable skills to their limits. One thing Joss Wheden said about Avengers - "they can be as strong as they can be and it's still not enough - they have to learn they need each other."

It's a winning formula and nice to see you using it to such effect. Garla had developed a rough trust for Michael - conditionally. Now she has to learn to trust his people. And they have to learn to trust her. 

Really nice character moments with Deen and Tazla.

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: Thanks. I said before I think, Garla's journey in this trilogy is one of my favorites, and I'm glad she has resonated so well with you as well.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 08 Aug 2022 21:51 Title: Part 5 - Infiltration: 7

The test of a hero isn't how hard he can punch, but resiliance and adaptability. Michael is certainly passing those tests - including the last minute course change in response to the borg wall. It's a scene that Clive Owen would devour.

I have been looking forward to Michael's meeting with his Michael 3.0. If Tyrantus is anything like his doppelganger, it makes sense that the borg would make him more than just another drone. Which is a rare thing for the borg to do. 

Really looking forward to seeing what Tyrantus does with his doppelganger - and what he has done to the borg. 

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: I've seen your note about Clive Owen as Michael Owens. It's an interesting idea. I've never really cast any actors as my characters, because I prefer to think of them as unique individuals, and you somewhat lose that aspect when you associate them with a famous face. Although, I have to admit, casting Star Eagle for a screen adaptation would be fun. It would all be entirely unknown actors until, of course, the studio/network would intercede and force the casting of a known quantity. Regardless, I do enjoy seeing what actors readers imagine for these characters. Clive Owen is definitely not a bad choice.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 01 Aug 2022 05:00 Title: Part 5 - Infiltration: 6

Taz is racking up a couple of bills that will need to be paid - both Maya and Jon will take the first opportunity to cause trouble until they get what they want - or get the boot firmly enough to effectively end any hope of cooperation.

Alas for Michael prime - are we about to lose him? Trapped on a prison planet in the midst of a borg attack in a dying universe with the ultimate ticking clock... It almost sounds like a 70's Todd Lundgren song.

So I'm wondering if this Frobisher is from this universe (meaning he will vanish when it does) or if he is from yet another reality and will be the one gain Eagle might net out of this collapse...

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: Things do look grim, don't they? Esecially for Michael who doesn't seem to have a lot of great options here. Of course Tazla's problems are nothing to sneeze at either. Hey, thanks for reading and your continued comments here and over at the TBBS.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 27 Jul 2022 00:04 Title: Part 5 - Infiltration: 5

Okay... I'm really looking forward to a Tyrantus - Michael meeting. That's going to be just wild... And the chance to get to know more about these odd borg 3.0... Are the borg borg everywhere? Or could they be really, really weird in some universes?

Also looking forward to how Taz is going to manage Maya (or vice-versa.)

Maybe one-armed Michael can figure out how to get his remaining hand on the latinum he found...

Definitely a new high in CJ cliffhangers! Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: So many possibilities, you could fill a book with alternate universe interpretations of the Trek universe ... or you know, three.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 20 Jul 2022 00:41 Title: Part 5 - Infiltration: 4

Katanga's being a bit of an ass here. I kind of think he's nervous and doesn't know what to do being so far out of control. Which has to be a new situation for an old man. In this setting he's kind of playing the role of a Greek Chorus, informing the audience of the ethical considerations that Taz has to take into account.

And a good old Mexican standoff between Taz and Maya... They have 5 minutes...

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: Bit harsh on Katanga here, no? I think he simply remains true to his moral compass and his desire to cause as little harm as possible. Of course, all that feels like a rather moot point with the Borg armada swooping down on the place.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 20 Jul 2022 00:38 Title: Part 5 - Infiltration: 3

Nothing like a bunch of hotheaded rebels who never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. They kind of remind me of the Palestinian People's Suicide Squad from Monty Python's Life of Brian.

Culsten sees yet another version of himself in a greater role of power just screwing up right and left. This is him if he followed Garla and relied on her to create his future. Running away from his family is the best thing he could have done not only for himself, but also for Garla.

It may take a few more universes for him to realize that all along, he's been living his best Lif.

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: Turns out the only group Culsten's Krellon People's Front hate more than the Outlanders is the People's Front of Krellon. Great take on Prime Culsten here, who has finally reached the point where he can't take it anymore. Lucky for him his little outburst turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 20 Jul 2022 00:32 Title: Part 5 - Infiltration: 2

Interesting how this non-family keeps managing to be a family regardless of how they think they feel about one another. Really liking that Frobisher, after being presented as the antagonist early on in the series, is seen from another perspective as a family member. And Maya and Michael just can't get over each other in any universe.

Also really fun to get to know Matt, whom Michael had kind of put on a pedistal, is kind of an ass - which, recalling his earlier apperances, he pretty much is in any universe.

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: Yeah, the family dynamic in story was a lot of fun to write and explore. The role reversal is an interesting aspect of this, I thought, as is how people can be so different based on their environment. We didn't see much of Matt Owens in the prime universe, but he mostly seemed like a good dude. Different story here, although the poor guy has been through quite a bit in a very short time.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 01 Jul 2022 01:50 Title: Part 5 - Infiltration: 1

Yeah... Lif 3.0 and his insurrectionists are pretty much like the vast majority of insurrectionists. Incompetent to the point that they only survive because their oppressers are equally incompetent. Michael should have seen this one coming. Lif.3 has been feeding him a line. 

Garla is magnificent as usual - and probably their main hope for getting out of this as Maya is unlikely to come to the rescue and Taz bedeviled by borg. It would be fun if Frobisher were to pull a rabbit out of his hat...

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: The Lif Culsten's of the quantum-verse don't appear to be the most reliable individuals, do they? Glad Garla's still doing it for you. She's a lot of fun to write. A real action anti-heroine. As always, thanks for commenting.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 21 Jun 2022 23:05 Title: Part 4 - Roundabout Route: 7

And here come the alt-borg. But these borg are a bit wierd compared to borg prime. They seem a bit more emotional and they like to play with their prey. But then, they've probably assimilated everything interesting to them, so they have to be after something else.

And of course there's Eli and Xylion playing out a classic Spock/McCoy dance. 

Nice badguy dance with Tyrantus looming over the Eagle's crew - again a classic. The less screen time he has, the more presence he has in the story. Kind of like the Operative in Serenity. Or Darth Sideous in the 2nd prequel.

Thanks! rbs

Author's Response: There's probably a lot of Borg back story we're missing in this universe. But a lot of their MO should seem familiar, certainly their tenaciousness, and obsession with 010 that was mostly established in a Voyager episode, of course. It was also a central theme in my other story The God Particle (shameless plug).

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 21 Jun 2022 22:55 Title: Part 4 - Roundabout Route: 6

"Just give it a few good whacks..." Great scifi standard for wonky equipment on a boat held together with bailing wire and prayer beads.

Love Garla and Maya sparking off each other and Michael (not the most charming man in any universe) having to make peace between them. Which is about as safe as separating two tomcats in a territorial dispute. 

And then again having to try to foster some sort of peace between his not brother and their not father. There is an understated humor running through this chapter.

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: The difference between Garla and Ownes is that Garla simply isn't a team player. She adores Lif but she doesn't play well with others, especially other Alphas like Owens and Amaya. It creates a lot of, hopefully, entertaining tension. And yeah, Owens has quite a few balls to juggle here. Interesting observation about him not being very charming. I guess, that's true. He certainly isn't a Kirk or maybe even a Riker and falls closer on the Picard side of the spectrum.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 09 Jun 2022 17:01 Title: Part 4 - Roundabout Route: 5

Shades of Picard's dream in First Contact.. Sweet borgmare.

Bridge, we have a new problem: BORG!  Clever little bugs not doing anything except tracking and recording your every move.

I like the idea that their presence would be enough to spark nightmares. And since we didn't see Tyrantus die - well - never count a mortal enemy dead until you break the spine off the skull casing with your own hands. 

And then don't be too sure...  Oh, and more Katanga, please...

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: Borg are about the perfect nightmare stuff, aren't they? And you gotta feel bad for Taz. First it was drug-induced fever dreams and now she's got the Borg fueling her nightmares. Girl can't get a break. Glad you enjoyed the First Contact call back, which for these characters is still a relatively recent event.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 04 Jun 2022 01:35 Title: Part 4 - Roundabout Route: 4

I actually like that Michael has rage issues - an Achilles tendon that makes him an interesting character and well explored in his various doppelgangers. A dysfunctional family is an interesting one. 

I also appreciate the humor in this episode - implicit in Michael's frustration with his bizarre, cobbled not-exactly-prime family and explicit in Garla's pithy, gritty humor. 

She is an excellent frenemy.

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: Thanks. I always try to keep Owens as human as possible. Sure, he's an all-pro starship captain, but he's got his flaws, too, as we've seen, and particularly when it comes to his family. He's made some poor decisions and now he's embroiled in the middle of the most bizarre family drama one can imagine. And, oh yeah, all of reality might get wiped out. I'm also glad you like the dynamic between him and Garla. These two are both very similar as well as very different from each other. An explosive mix, for sure.

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