Date: 20 Oct 2021 10:03 Title: Chapter 1
Overall a very cinematic feel. Reads a bit like a Tom Clancy novel - it would make a great blockbuster ST movie - especially with the detailed descriptions of locations and combat. Very easy to visualize - with some great visuals. Quite visceral as well.
I'm pleased you enjoyed the tale. I'd envisioned this story for years, and only just got around to finally writing it. Thank you for all your reviews!
Date: 19 Oct 2021 20:38 Title: Epilogue
Lar'ragos' and Sandhurst's reactions seem very lifelike. I had a friend who survived Vietnam (he's been dead a decade or so - I have one of his paintings beside the door.) He said he wasn't a hero although he was very highly decorated. He said "I'm just the one who made it back."
A farm in Canada might not be cold in a few hundred years if we can't get control over our impact on the climate. They might be planting coffee, chocolate and bananas...
I tried very hard to include some of a veteran's outlook in Pava's words and actions towards a young Sandhurst. As for climate change, here's hoping that a change human behavior and technology can save the day before we render the planet uninhabitable (though I'm not holding my breath).
Date: 19 Oct 2021 20:35 Title: Chapter 21
Here's hoping Morozov remains retired. Good character portrait of Lar'ragos in this scene.
I was hoping to see Var again - not sure if he died in battle. It would be interesting to see him return in a later story as not an enemy.
I very nearly wrote an ending scene for Var, and strongly wanted to, in fact. Honestly, I found it too depressing. Any observations he'd have had regarding the Federation he would have to have kept to himself to avoid the attention of the Obsidian Order. Additionally, defeated troops returning home in ignominy would not be well received by their fellow citizens, and certainly not by the Cardassian government. I wanted to end the story on a high note, and thus jettisoned a closing narrative for Var.
I too would like to see him in a future UT story.
Date: 18 Oct 2021 20:11 Title: Chapter 20
Fairly common for young people to take umbrage when others care for them. And there is a difference between courage on the battlefield and courage in social settings...
Interesting that Var presents a deadly challenge to Lar'ragos - until the timely arrival of the cavelry.
Superb description of the landscape and how it is destroyed - along with the functionality for which the water reclamation system is designed. That design is some really good sci-fi. Vivid - but there is a believable and interesting purpose to the design.
Thank you for the kind words. I wanted to try and paint as vivid a picture as possible of the battlefield and the action taking place there. It's gratifying to know I succeeded.
Lar'ragos, despite retaining his 'cheats' had stopped the physical and martial training that he'd maintained since his time with the Hekosian military. Var was simply too strong, too fast, and too brutal for this softer Lar'ragos to counter.
Date: 17 Oct 2021 20:29 Title: Chapter 19
Liking Var thinking above his pay grade and also the reasoning that his idea was rejected.
Also liking that the Lt. thought about it and then took Lar'rogos' advice.
Superiors being stiff-necked and not paying attention to recommendations coming from their subordinates is an overused trope and you didn't use it in either the federation or cardassian parts of the story. That is very much appreciated.
I figured that some of the time, people might actually make the correct decision despite other factors arguing for an opposing course.
Date: 17 Oct 2021 01:00 Title: Chapter 18
I particualrly liked Lar'ragos' understanding of Bartolo's passing thoughts. Another good reverse angle on Var. Particularly with the loss of his friend.
Overall a homily on the futility of war - the reverse of vulcan philosophy. It happens when the needs of the few are allowed to outweigh the needs of the many.
Date: 15 Oct 2021 19:43 Title: Chapter 17
I quite liked the last passage with Lar'ragos. There's something wrong with that boy. Which makes him the kind of guy that's really useful to have around.
Looks like Votor has a thing or two to learn.
Quite enjoying Var's ongoing character reveal and hopefully a nice character arc.
Date: 14 Oct 2021 22:42 Title: Chapter 16
Sandhurst knocking out Lar'ragos reminds me of the end of the Ricktatership in the Walking Dead. Just a little far over the edge. Injuring a vulcan's wrist during an attempted neck pinch - ouch...
Looks like Morozov's got a clock...
Date: 13 Oct 2021 20:43 Title: Chapter 15
Sandhurst and Votor need to catch up quickly - as do the colonists if Lar'ragos is going to keep them alive.
Of course anyone would get at least a small amount of satisfaction from telling a vulcan to shut up.
I'm liking the character development with Var - and Utrim's attitude.
Date: 12 Oct 2021 19:58 Title: Chapter 14
It will be interesting to see how the Var character develops in the face of the initially soft Federation resistance. Always interesting to see the reverse angle on the enemy.
Really superb depiction of Sandhurst struggling to save Waller. He managed to get his head together. Nothing like having a vulcan around to keep a cool head.
Date: 11 Oct 2021 15:24 Title: Chapter 13
Good old fashioned brute force against high tech and misguided rules of combat. Sounds like pretty much every time UN forces engaged anyone anywhere...
Always good to get a reverse angle on the cardassians from the foot soldier's POV.
Lar'ragos' appreciation of irony will serve him well.
Date: 10 Oct 2021 11:40 Title: Chapter 12
Shades of STTMP: "Oh no... they're forming..." Transporter scramblers apparently create a mess. Kudos to Morozov for keeping his head and issuing the correct orders regarding the shelters.
Quite the rundown of the first moments of battle. Interesting rumination from Lar'ragos as the idea of the Federation going soft again and again seems a reflection of the competing roles of Star Fleet.
Date: 08 Oct 2021 08:06 Title: Chapter 11
Deep cover suicide sleeper agents - that's just nasty. Looks like this has been in the planning for decades. Which means a few mines are unlikely to stop the cardassian advance. Good shock value - was not expecting that.
Very much enjoying the Bartolo character.
And as predicted, the Sagan didn't last long - but it looks like they did some damage.
My favorite in the entire chapter was the nervous cardassian soldier on a rickety transport. Nice to put in some sympathy for the enemy.
Date: 06 Oct 2021 22:04 Title: Chapter 10
Some grim moments on the eve of battle. Feddies aren't exactly the "Today is a good day to die..." type.
Probably best to heed Lar'rogos' advice. Sounds like he's armed to the teeth. Interesting that he chose an older phaser model - more rugged?
More rugged and easier to aim. His outfit is the field duty uniform variant Kirk's tactical team used on Nimbus III in their attempt to free the hostages, plus the chest armor vest seen in ST TMP and ST: III.
Date: 05 Oct 2021 23:11 Title: Chapter 9
I knew Rafaelle was going to be one of my favorites.. Nothing like a flawed character to come through in a pinch. Really liking the friendship between him and Sorel. And Verun is just sooo adorable...
Rafaelle was fun to write, and although we won't see him again in the Gibraltar series, his son does make an appearance in the Task Force Vanguard missions.
Date: 05 Oct 2021 00:32 Title: Chapter 8
Glad to see that we're going to get more of Rafaelle - that's a very interesting character. I get the idea he has more than one trick up his sleeve.
Interesting response from Lar'ragos - although he didn't divulge what he was scared about...
Combat. Lar'ragos is always afraid, no matter how many times he thrust into the crucible of war. He loathes the thing he is best at, and hates himself for it.
Thank you for the excellent commentary!
Date: 04 Oct 2021 00:33 Title: Chapter 7
Classic eve of war sequences, ramping up the stakes with families, describing the strategic situation and capture a number of emotional reactions in a very small number of words.
I'm a big fan of this kind of economy of words and effecient and impactive storytelling.
Thank you for the kind words.
Date: 02 Oct 2021 23:36 Title: Chapter 6
I like the conversation among the young cardassian soldiers. Soldiers are soldiers - but it's always worse for those who had dogma and indoctrincation substituted for training and fed propeganda instead of information.
Pava's observation fits well - especially from an American perspective where we can't seem to go more than a decade without bombing somebody and dropping active military forces into someone else's country.
Date: 01 Oct 2021 21:06 Title: Chapter 5
These are some really great new characters here. I'm really liking Bartolo's leadership even while still in the academy. It will be interesting to see if this character reconnects with either Sandhurst or Lar'ragos after the academy.
More interesting is the functional alcholic and a reasonably accomodating vulcan. There are such people and they are featured far too seldomly. I'm hoping we'll see more of Rafaelle.
Date: 30 Sep 2021 23:33 Title: Chapter 4
There's the familiar Pava - though it's not yet clear why he's so protective of Sandhurst. Very interesting dynamic. There's no romance like bromance.
Convincing technobabble - which is not as easy to write as advertised.
Date: 29 Sep 2021 20:16 Title: Chapter 3
Look at Lar'ragos - learning life lessons at his advanced age..
So it looks like the UT generation is dominated by the Cardassian War - growing up in it, fighting it, dealing with the messy aftermath.
Interesting detail about the captain shaving her head and also her behavioral quirks - those kinds of details are critical to bringing a story to life.
Yes, Lar'ragos *can* be taught, provided you can get the required information through his thick skull! Thanks for the comments.
Date: 28 Sep 2021 21:04 Title: Chapter 2
More fun with Sandhurst slowly discovering Lar'ragos - that's going to be a long study.
Nice coda on the nature of leadership with Morozov.
The U.S.S. Sagan is a winner. Perfect name for a training ship. Of course its mate would have to be the U.S.S. Margulis...
Date: 28 Sep 2021 20:55 Title: Chapter 1
Ah - the origin story. I like the diversity among the old guard leadership.
I'm wondering if you wrote this story first or if it was a later writing to fill out the backstory for the Sandhurst Lar'ragos relationship. Fun introduction - Pava is kindof a creepy dude.
This was a much later tale, an exploration of how Pava and Donald first met. Thanks for the review.