Date: 31 May 2013 15:21 Title: The Days Are Numbered
Well ... I think her objections are overstated by her.
It can be very easy to go into a difficult situation and be terrified by it, to think that it is some form of error. And to also believe that success is nigh well impossible. But success is very possible here.
If Sydney gets through it, she will have some serious bragging rights. If she wins over Sutek, then she'll be able to win over everyone and anyone. It's one thing to be able to hit a ball off a tee and have it dribble to the pitcher's mound. It's another entirely to hit a fastball from an ace pitcher and have it soar out of a big league park.
You're in the majors, now, kid.
And, to you - Intrepid Sovereign!
This piece made me believe about these people. They feel real and true. The objective is believably overstated by the character, and fills in a nagging hole that I think has been in a lot of Trek, where no one ever seems to actively complain about their assignments, or ever dig in their heels if they're suddenly getting a transfer. After all, despite how wonderful, say, the Enterprise is, a person even being transferred to it might lose friends, stature, routine, a lover or even just familiarity and comfort. It is mighty refreshing to see someone objecting to being traded away like a playing card. Kudos, mucho kudos.
Date: 31 May 2013 14:57 Title: The Order
Not him - that's all that the reader needs to know.
Intriguing, elliptical and gnawing. Sydney's distress is real, and her objection is loud and anguished. But she's just been bargained away, or at least conceded, almost like a poker chip in a game or haggling at a market. Methinks this is such a foregone conclusion that she could write the book on groveling and it would not matter one whit.
I'm curious about the shared quarters and perhaps this is my own ignorance. In ENT, there are plenty of instances of shared quarters, for Crewmen and for Ensigns. On TOS, I believe the lowest-level quarters we see belong to Yeoman Rand, and she doesn't seem to have a roommate. In TNG, I believe the only Ensign whose quarters we see are Wesley's, but he rightfully lives with his mother because hes's underage. DS9 isn't a ship, and I confess I don't know about VOY.
So, if I am right, then after the ENT era, Ensigns would normally get their own living spaces. Sydney doesn't, and you've already laid out in the first chapter that she's got trauma and other issues. Is her roommate situation designed to accommodate her issues?
Date: 31 May 2013 14:51 Title: Of Roses And Ensigns
I do not believe I have read any of your stories before.
This is quite a beginning.
It's exposition-filled, but that's the idea. We only see Sydney briefly, in passing, but of course she is the subject of the meeting and the whole shebang is all about her.
Hints are dropped. There's parental trouble, deaths. A twin. A lack of control. A lousy attitude. But something is ... there. And it's not just piloting skill. After all, it does Starfleet little good to promote pilots to managerial roles - they need to be kept as pilots! So there is depth there, and it's not just a tug of war between these two captains that is defining what's happening.
The framing use of the roses, the tell with the quill - you have a superb eye for detail and setting of a place.
Date: 12 Nov 2009 18:42 Title: The Days Are Numbered
I LOVE how it turns out not to be a human/Vulcan thing, but the fact that Spillane has quirks that makes her relatable to Sydney. (Or would you say that's just her attempt to find a PC answer? Not sniping, honestly curious.)
One thing I'm curious about--what is it about the Pennsylvania that makes it such a hard ship to pilot? With the kind of precision mechanics and computers they have, I'm just wondering. (Granted, I see it with some of the machines I use at work at times...but I'm curious to know your thoughts.)
Author's Response: The Penn is like a car that constantly gives you trouble, but when you take it to the mechanic, they can't find anything wrong with it. It's like she has a mind of her own, and nothing will get don't unless you do it her way. For twenty years Sutek was the only captain she ever had, so he knew her idiosyncrasies better than anyone. He doesn't have a "romantic" attachment to a ship like Humans often develop, but it's logical to him to take the ship as is than forever looking for and attempting to fix what might be wrong. When the engineers (and the helmsman) take that attitude, the Penn can and will do amazing things.
Date: 12 Nov 2009 18:36 Title: Of Roses And Ensigns
Very interesting to see the antagonism between Spillane and Sutek...I just have to wonder something, though. We later do see how Sydney and Sutek turn out, how they relate to each other--but it's hard to understand where Vulcans get any tolerance from when you consider that their standard is logic and humans are inherently illogical because of the role they ascribe to their emotions and their refusal to part with them. (Not to mention that humans are shorter-lived and physically more frail than Vulcans, and unable to utilize telepathy or even shield themselves.)
Ahh...and Gul Berat adds that while Cardassians may have the benefit of a Vulcan-like memory, and their mental-shielding abilities, and yes, may be longer-lived...they still have their emotions, too. And in the little conversation we imagined between Berat and Sutek, there was clearly tolerance. He doesn't argue its existence--just wants to know about its roots in Vulcan culture and Sutek in particular.
Date: 25 Sep 2009 15:48 Title: The Days Are Numbered
If I didn't already love Spillane, this chapter would clinch it. Not just the manner in which she impressed upon Sydney the need to follow the orders and make the most of the experience but also because of how Sydney describes some of her attributes and ways, summing them up with 'weird'.
..you're...weird...ma'am. If I can deal with that, I can deal with your midnight galley raids and Kirk imitations and polka nights.
Hee hee. Oh I'd love to hear more about that. Of course when Sydney precedes that with the following:
I can deal with weird. I'm weird. I sing to the ship. I sniff around people's quarters for good food and beg for some. I dance when there's no music playing!
I just fall for her too. Great characters.
Date: 25 Sep 2009 15:40 Title: The Order
So Sutek's reputation precedes him. Alas, for Sydney grovelling is not going to work as Sutek has that base already covered. And still love Spillane > You mess up this kid, I'll come looking for you...
Of course, Sutek responds with a very simple admonition noted. Priceless. Who says Vulcans don't have a sense of humour!
Date: 25 Sep 2009 15:35 Title: Of Roses And Ensigns
An intriguing start. Sutek is an impressive figure and his interest in Sydney is not mystifying but certainly to outsiders it strikes as being unusual. But it seems an air of mystery and magic surrounds Sutek's ability to gather the greatest and ablest of individuals. This talent for garnering talent places a certain pressure on future proteges if they should ever discover before the time they are ready. This opening chapter Of Roses and Ensigns paints Sydney to be an intriguing character and being taken under Sutek's wing is certainly heading into the inferno. With a track record to uphold Sutek admits that the challenge presented by Sydney is different to that he's faced before. So it will be interesting to see how this fares for all concerned.
P.S. I really love and dig Spillane. She sounds like a craggy sort and bound to give her crew hell. Love the comment about the Pennsylvania and comparing it to Sutek. Hee hee.
Date: 27 May 2009 13:08 Title: The Days Are Numbered
A wonderful story. Your portrayal of Sutek was amazingly insightful. Vulcans do come across as stiff and yet you infused him with depth and personality, as much by the reflections of others as by his own thoughts and actions. Bravo!
Author's Response: Thanks! :D
Date: 26 May 2009 22:08 Title: The Days Are Numbered
Review for The Days Are Numbered:
Goodness, the drama certainly is thick with young Satterwhite. Methinks Captain Spillane enjoyed the hell out of that encounter, though she'd doubtless deny it if asked.
One wonders if Sutek doesn't intentionally cultivate such a reputation to help in bending eager and impetuous young officers to his ways?
Author's Response: Spillane was trying to calm Sydney down, but, yeah, I think she got a kick out of it. ;)
Sutek doesn't cloak himself in all the trappings of his reputation, but his crew does, and that's where a good many of the stories come from, and, of course, they spread like a virus. He can't stop them, so he doesn't try. But if it keeps the youngsters in line, that's work he doesn't have to do. So, in that sense, it does appear that he's intentionally cultivating this near-mythic image.
Date: 26 May 2009 18:34 Title: Of Roses And Ensigns
Once again, we see why Sutek's reputation is well deserved. He and Captain Spillane both clearly have Sydney's best interests at heart, but are divided on how to best go about shepherding her through the next few years.
Being as we already know the eventual results, it is obvious that Sutek succeeds. It was, I gather, not the smoothest of paths, however.
As usual, you have crafted a dense, though especially easy to read story full of terrific character moments. Your eye for description is truly fantastic. Thanks for sharing!
Author's Response: Yep, the path for Sydney in her Penn years did start out pretty bumpy.
Thanks for reading! :)