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Reviewer: Gul Rejal Signed [Report This]
Date: 11 Nov 2010 13:38 Title: Scenario

There are only two choices and seems like in the story they are either white or black. Good or evil. Saints or monsters. I'm not sure if I agree with that assessment, there must be some shades of grey. One could prevail over the other, but to annihilate it completely?

The narration style was very interesting. It's not every day that I read a story written in the second person. It's like giving the choice and not just telling about a choice done.

Author's Response:

The format of the story was inspired by a series of kids' books that were popular when I was little, called Choose Your Own Adventure, which are narrated in that style and the outcome is based on the choices that you make.

As for the fact that we get to see good and evil clearly on display here--I think that there are some moments in our lives where we truly do face a choice that is that clear as to who and what we are going to be and what we are going to make the world around us.  I believe that there truly are moral points of no return in our lives...though they can often only be recognized through the lens of history (which we have the advantage of having here), because it's true that people can repent after some truly awful misdeeds.  It isn't a popular thing to acknowledge these days, with moral relativism being all the rage, but one act of mercy, one act of reaching out is capable of making a world of difference.  And it's in these life-or-death moments where we see the clarity that we rarely see in our average, everyday lives.

If I'd wanted to be truly black and white, though, I would never have given Kelor Vetar or Rhirzum Akleen important continuing roles to play after the choice is made to spare Pretam.  I could have had it simply be "believers win, nonbelievers lose," and given the Oralians a monopoly on all that was good.  But that didn't feel right to me.  The interesting thing is, two choices were made, not just one, even though the reader only gets to play Akleen's role.  Akleen can choose to spare Pretam's life--but Pretam also chooses to reach out and to listen.  It was both of those choices that saved Cardassia...the combination of the two.  Knowing what I know about Pretam, even if she had lived but simply never met Akleen, I don't think it would have entered her mind to try to challenge the system as a Guide and try to push for reforms.  And then someone else would have filled Akleen's shoes, most likely, and committed the act that turned Cardassia into some form of empire even if not Akleen's exact vision that we see in the canon series.

Pretam taught Akleen a lesson in mercy and forgiveness.  But Akleen taught Pretam a lesson in humility and boldness (two opposites but I really think he made her think about both).  Akleen had to challenge Pretam's views and she had to be willing to listen to those challenges and see where something could be learned from them, in order to shape the AU Cardassia.  It was the combination of them together, that saved Cardassia, not just Pretam.  That's why although Pretam and the Castellan who took over to help initiate the reforms are well-known figures in AU Cardassian history, Akleen and Vetar are respected too as examples of courage.

Reviewer: Alkar Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 25 Jul 2010 19:45 Title: Scenario

Hello, Ms. Ghemor!

It's your Russian fan again. As you suggested, I created an account here.

As for the novel - well, I always wanted to read or write something like this - about how a single action is important to the flow of history.
However, I have one note: don't you thing that if you switch from the main part to the second ending your main character's personality will change instantaneously and dramatically: first, we see a soldier who is obedient and loyal to the state and then he changes to a calm, enlightened Cardassian typical for the "Catacombs of Oralius" Universe. I personally don't think that a single good action could change an individual so deeply.

Well, anyway, the novel is really good and you are, indeed, a very talented person.

Author's Response:

The point of the story is that he had to make a decision into that moment as to what he was going to be.  Certain actions can decide what a person is going to become as well.  We make choices; those choices affect us.  The first choice intensified the anger that was building in him.  In the second, we find out that he was in a panic.  The energy practically drained out of him when he found that he couldn't go through with his violent act.  However, it took many years for the peaceful "revolution" to take place.  And remember Tret's nickname in that universe--a rhirzum is a very ornery animal, and the suggestion there is that he is not and never will be calm: he's had many a heated, cantankerous back-and-forth with Yavenn Pretam and always will.  The difference is he's learned to channel that part of himself.

Thank you for reading, though. :-)

Reviewer: Mistral Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 19 May 2009 21:11 Title: Scenario

It's a tight bit alright. The format worked better with the spoiler tags at the BBS but either way its a great piece.

Author's Response:

True...but then, when I was little I had to turn the page when I read "Choose Your Own Adventure" stories... ;-)

Reviewer: Miranda Fave Signed [Report This]
Date: 18 May 2009 21:40 Title: Scenario

Oh powerful stuff Nerys. very plausible reasons first of, as to how and why Cardassia became the place it did in either universe. I liked how it could hinge on this one moment in history.

Really well done. Tight writing with a simplicity and focus of its message.

Author's Response:

Thanks a lot...I'm really glad you enjoyed it! :-)

I think that in the main Sigils's tragic that a young Tret Akleen killed a Guide who was actually willing to listen to him and help their people find a balance that would help them face the challenges ahead.  Together, Pretam and Akleen are a hell of a combo.

But what he did...I think it sent a signal to other Cardassians that they could seize power from the religious establishment and set up the government we saw throughout TNG and DS9.  Challenging the power structure can be a tough thing for them to do (but NOT impossible--they're not Borg!), so that example was very meaningful even though it was a single act out in the wildnerness.

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