Date: 13 May 2013 20:13 Title: Chapter 1
Whiz bang start … what happened to make the Laurentii attack?
The dream sequence was properly confusing and disturbing. Everyone was messed up in some serious way. Kalara seems to be super freaked out by it and I can’t blame her. As usual, she really comes across as someone I’d genuinely like to hang with. She has her problems and she has her vulnerabilities, but is a very real character to me.
I particularly enjoyed the way you interspersed her thoughts with her actions, giving a nice rounded view of what was going on with her. The way she briefly recoiled to Damian’s touch and then found herself feeling comforted by him was pitch perfect.
And Kane … or Ianto. It was nice to him/them functioning and nicer still to see Voyager referenced. What exactly are they planning that has to do with VOY? I’m not sure. But I’m definitely going to read on to find out.
Author's Response: As I mentioned in my comment to your prologue review, this dream sequence and opening probably would have worked better if used at the beginning of Volume 4. Even though I will probably leave the Prologue where it was, I think that his opening will be moved or at least repeated when I start Volume 4. I'm glad you like Kalara, she is one of my favourites, although I put her through the wringer in this story, as you will see.
Date: 13 May 2013 19:29 Title: Prologue
Sarine is obviously weighed down by what happened to Earth. Seeing Jem’Hadar go for the scorched Earth policy does not surprise me though to see the number of worlds that fell is shocking. Sarine is possibly living in a form of denial … but I can’t blame him if he is.
The atmosphere aboard the Sisko sounds not super luxurious. The old ship seems to be represent the successor to the Federation … worn, battle weary, and hastily put together. I enjoyed the description of the ship and the way everyone seems to roll with casual Friday all day all long.
The dynamics between Prin and Sarine are strong. Obviously both care for one another and neither is afraid of telling the other the harsh truth. Sarine and Robau seem to have different ways of doing things and though it looks to be an issue, it seems that the two are okay with one another.
Sarine seems to have been picked out as the savior for the Laurentii. Hmmm … what can that mean?
Author's Response: This is a dark chapter in this alternate timeline, for sure. I thought it important to open with this little flashback, though the way things have worked out both it and the opening to the next chapter will probably have more impact on volume 4. I may rejig things, or find another way of going through the same info. Anyway... I'm glad that the atmosphere aboard the Sisko worked as it should, showing how far this fledgling Federation has to go to be back to its former glory. As to the Prin/Sarine relationship, it is pivotal both to this volume and to the next one. As to what Sarine's being chosen by the Laurentii means... You'll just have to wait for Volume 4 to find out! :)
Date: 06 May 2013 22:07 Title: Chapter 23
So are we going to get to find out what kind of carnage crazy old Dax can create while on the loose and armed? ;-)
Author's Response: Unfortunately, not in this volume. However, we will get to see more of Dax in Volume 4! :)
Date: 23 Feb 2011 06:48 Title: Chapter 16
Well things are getting worse by the moment here. This building terrifically to a climax. You do a super job of setting all the pieces in place and then knocking them down. Per chance you like to do so with dominoes? But seriously, nice plot crafting, staging everything and timing it all to such dramatic beats.
Date: 23 Feb 2011 06:41 Title: Chapter 15
Yipes! That's a neat cliffhanger you did there. Nice to see the interaction with Turner, funny seeing Ba'el being like a rookie school boy around her. Adds a little humanity to him.
Troubling developments here with Kalara locked away and Ba'el 'kidnapped' all the while the negotiations continue and legitimate concerns are raised about Benjamini's willingness to give more away in order to secure the treaty. There's lots in the balance.
Date: 23 Feb 2011 06:35 Title: Chapter 14
This is kicking off the duplicitous acts - maybe it will kick off or kick up whatever the motivations are behind these different chess moves. All I do know, is that this is heading into trouble. And it very well may be the huge mistake Prin thinks it to be.
Date: 24 Jan 2011 14:40 Title: Chapter 13
Oh dear all round. The meeting between jasto and Haebron went better than one would have thought. But it was terrifying seeing the sand used to suffocate them! Yikes. That's an image and feeling that is going to stick with me.
And now Prin has explosive evidence and things are going to go south very quickly and badly from here on in I fear [or hope :evil laugh:]
Author's Response: Trust me, this initial meeting may have gone quite well but things are going to go south very fast from now on! As for the sand suffocation... Yeah. Haebron is a bad ass! :) Prin's evidence is going to set off a whole slew of events, in ways neither she nor anyone else expects.
Date: 24 Jan 2011 14:20 Title: Chapter 11
Oh crap - from the start of the headaches it was clear there was something up - the mystery of Ba'el's missing hours grows more and it could prove discomforting to learn the truth and the concern given the strange technology of the Hegemony is that he could be being interferred with now or from the past. And given the fractured state of the Hegemony he is clearly a possible pawn in whatever games are afoot. Damned interesting.
Author's Response: The mystery of Ba'el's missing hours is key to what is going on here, so I felt it was about time to pay off all of the mysterious clues given so far. The real pay off is a ways off at the moment, though, since we won't see it until the - future - volume 4.
Date: 24 Jan 2011 13:58 Title: Chapter 10
Yuck! Politics is supposed to be an ugly business and spitting would be bad enough - but emitting a foul stench to make a point is pretty ... well ugh! Though it is very in keeping with being alien and different. Kudos for continuing to keep it so unique and engaging. Likewise, populating it with characters like Qwert who plays his own games in how he appears and what he actually is at.
Author's Response: Yeah, I wanted to keep the Laurentii very different in their outlook and way of doings things, even down to their reaction to politics. There is a lot going on here, lots of undercurrents that are not yet entirely clear. Glad you like Qwert, he is one of my favourite characters!
Date: 07 Nov 2010 12:39 Title: Chapter 10
A wonderful start indeed! Boys, boys oh boys. You do do politics and alien organic technology so very well. As if there aren't enough complications, cross purposes and hidden agendas among the Redemption we have the Hegemony split as well. Terrificly intricate.
Date: 28 Oct 2010 16:14 Title: Chapter 9
Magnificant handling of the situation. The Laurenti remain to be very alien in nature. From their behemoth whale ships, to the 360 degree strip for an eye, to their handling of ambassadors. Keeping things fresh and alien three books in with these people - one imagines and hopes for far more eyepopping moments with them.
Likewise, the technology on the bridge and in the science lab all conveys a real sense of future and modern and wow wee. Again, this is all written and conveyed very well. Helps with the setting of this story, likewise the polypolitic crew of the ship itself, a Romulan ensign here, a Ferengi oversight there, all good.
Then the various developments between and with character situations. We see that Turner's R&R time with Sarine has helped him bounce back and no doubt the Laurenti rebuff of Benjamini has also greatly improved his mood. Ho ho! That was good to see. How silly of her to think that Sarine was to be a mere figurehead in this mission. If he was asked for, and was an actual bargaining chip for this mission to happen then of course he was going to hold more sway. Benjamini does not seem to know how to best handle situations. She should have tried more to win Sarine on her side instead of the way she played the game from the very beginning. Likewise, I don't think it is wise to cross Kalara much either.
A very tense situation developing between both women. Kalara realises she has been used and this can not do her personal honour any good, add the insult of having the ship taken away from her, the Ambassador would do well to tread carefully around Kalara. Though Kalara might have cause to worry about crossing the Ambassador given the tricks and depths Benjamini will go to.
Of course, given that Zoroya has unearthed a certain transmission, Kalara's time looks to be limited before certain schemes begin to fall into place and all manner of trouble descends. Can't wait for it. Terrific again.
Date: 24 Oct 2010 17:43 Title: Chapter 8
Some helpful advice from Turner. Sarine is lucky enough to have Turner and Prin there to help him. I guess not following this on TrekBBS I'm missing out on any shipper wars but there's a lot of chemistry between Bael and Prin, and Bael and Turner. It could all work out in different ways. Yes Benjamini hopes to control and keep Sarine off balance so playing her at her own game will be fun to see.
Date: 24 Oct 2010 17:33 Title: Chapter 7
Uh oh. Poor Dax - vengeance will be mete out. Interesting turns from Astrid. How will her subverting the Klingon's plans affect how things go now? Who knows? This is Restoration - no plans are safe! Glorious mind mucking.
Date: 24 Oct 2010 16:38 Title: Chapter 6
One problem at a time ... huh not aboard the Redemption! Not aboard the Redemption! Problems don't come in ones around here. A terrifc chapter showing Sarine out of sorts, Prin seeing just how much but also mad at herself for not noticing what was up with Dax. And whilst she can see how professional Astrid has gotten she isn't likely to equate that with Astrid's secret personality. Likewise the look of menace at the end. A heck of a lot on her plate - nevermind departing, traversing subspace using the quantum slipstream before the mission in earnest begins. Well done.
Date: 24 Oct 2010 16:31 Title: Chapter 5
Flip me pink!
Ok - so this was going to be my opening line of the review: “Ted. You can call me Captain.” I just loved the comedic timing of it all. However, the rest of the chapter just blew that out of the water! One great big revelation after the other. Truly wow. From Bael learning that he is missing two days. Very key in all likelihood to whyever the Lauranti wanted Sarine to be the man in charge of the Restoration mission. It remains mysterious and damned intriguing.
Then we see the fate of Bajor revealled in a personal confrontation of his 'sins'. The destructive energy that wrought devastation to Bajor and DS9 was at Sarine's hand alone - he can't deny that nor does he. Benjamini wants to hurt and scar and maybe unsettle Sarine by having Rhodes as part of the escort. It's a way to undermine him and maybe she even hopes to have an automatic bit of support in the C.O. of the Rhodes. It is also a way of undermining Sarine in front of the other captains by reminding them of his past. Damned cold and calculating. You gotta love to hate her!
Then Haebron taking control of Dax is revealed to the captain. He is rightly outraged. Though there is a dark parallel to his own missing two days and whatever may have happened in that time that Sarine does not want to face up to either. Fascinating to have a peek at the Trill Symbiont fate during the war too as well the fate of Bajor. So much to take onboard in this chapter. Just awesome.
Date: 24 Oct 2010 16:14 Title: Chapter 4
I've already raved about how good a character Kalara is. But you don't duck out and leave her at that. Here we see how she is shaped and defies her family, her mother, her father, the teachings of the cleric, her wayward brothers who have each sought out their honour in their own ways. It all adds to a fuller picture that warrants greater appreciation. In addition to this, we see a glimpse of Klingon society as a whole. The Schism has torn asunder not just society and the culture of the Klingons but Klingon families too. Kalara has then to contend with as her method of attaining honour is deemed unhonourable by her mother and her heirs polluted blood. Smack in the face or what? Continually enthralling and terrific story telling.
Date: 24 Oct 2010 16:01 Title: Chapter 3
A bad, bad case of multiple personalities ALL round! Astrid's spy background is yet ANOTHER thread I must remember to keep in mind. Boys it is hard keeping all of this in the head. How you do it, write it and plan/make it up as you go along is mind-boggling! LOL!
But boys oh boys, Haebron taking such full control of Dax is truly frightening. This cannot end good. Is he about to admit all to the captain?
Date: 23 Oct 2010 08:16 Title: Chapter 2
Oh ho. Colin is going to mix things up for all concerned. The Commander and the Captain - with an odd spike of possible jealousy from Bael. Throw in the stepping on Ambassador Benjamini's toes we have a character who is like to cause all sorts of combustive moments amid a setting that is already highly volatile.
Date: 16 Oct 2010 08:13 Title: Chapter 1
Can I just say that Kalara is such a fascinating well drawn character. It helps that we are seeing so many different sides to what could easily have been a two-dimesional angry female Klingon. Instead, we get a tapestry of a character as the various factors in life spin around her. The reveal of Ianto's return is shocking, horrifying and a little comforting to her. A whole range of emotional tumult all thrown in at the one time. Just as for Kalara there's a lot to take in as the reader. The opener to this chapter hints at the darker turn the future is going to take for the mission ahead, but what causes it to come about is another series of questions altogether. It is all very ominious and shows just how the intricate web of intriguing plots is all beautifully building towards a calamity [or more]. Just fantastic storytelling.
Date: 08 Oct 2010 06:29 Title: Chapter 18
Both Groves and Benjamani demonstrate some survival skills and instincts as their diplomatic mission quickly devolves into an armed confrontation both on the station and in the surrounding space.
Prin’s holding her own in the battle, at least for the moment. Kane may be busy, but 10 minutes? Really? I’m thinking this battle will be long over in 10 minutes.
Turner’s as gutsy as they come, especially when leading her people into the combat meat-grinder outside Restoration, where her fighters are grossly outnumbered. I liked her brief thought regarding Sarine, a testament to how close she’s getting to him, despite just having met the man.
Meanwhile, Qwert’s having his own grand time on board the station, but finds some relief in the form of an unexpected ally, Lil’Kim. ;-)
Terrific stuff here, CaptainSarine. You’ve got a lot of balls in play, but you’re keeping them all airborne with a deft hand and a nicely flowing narrative.
Date: 30 Aug 2010 20:57 Title: Chapter 17
This story just keeps getting more and more intricate, and like the volumes before it, this one is beautifully action-packed. I'm thoroughly enjoying this series as you know!
And tell you what; it's an interesting feeling reading a story in the same way you'd watch an action movie at its climax. I despair that there's no 'next' button to push right now!
Date: 09 Aug 2010 20:28 Title: Chapter 17
Ah, yes... nothing like having your diplomatic mission spark a civil war among a highly advanced and ridiculously dangerous alien species who might hold the very fate of your fragile Federation in their hands.
In other words... Holy @&*$!
Oh, and FYI, Qwert kicks ass. He's like a Feregi version of Yoda.
Author's Response: Hi Gibraltar, Yeah, the crew of the Redemption have kind of screwed the pooch here, though things are far from what they seem. This diplomatic mission may have sparked the civil war, but it is a war that has been brewing for a while and would probably have kicked off sooner or later. Both sides have a very different way of viewing things, and there are some other factors we are not aware of yet that will cast a different light on what has happened. ie, Qwert as a Ferengi version of Yoda - Laughed. My. Ass. Off!!!! :) Love it! Thanks for the comment!
Date: 09 Aug 2010 10:25 Title: Prologue
Well now - a hell of an opener to the third VOL. You like the mysterious and you paint alien settings so vividly and creatively. That much is clear from the Onyx Station itself - a living breathing body almost with its opening corridors, etc. Amazing and just a slightly bit yuck if I bad to bed and breakfast there!
So the mystery around Sarine is part explained here - he is destined for something more. Normally, the mythos and prophecy stories in trek don't really win me over. I have to say, I never much liked the execution of the Emissary arc for Sisko, especially the ending. However, so far the destiny elements linked to Sarine thus far have been really well executed and enveloped into a large story and twistign plots. In ways, it reminds me of the Babylon 5 and Sheridan and Sinclair arcs. So kudos for achieving that right level of trek feel and adding your own spin and mythos element to the proceedings.
Likewise, Sarine's interactions with others always are fascinating. With Captain Robau but most especially with Prin. There's a strong bond there that appears to ahve been tested and strained over the years even before the current time frame. So it should be interesting to see how it continues in this next volume.
Oh, and whilst I can rave about your descriptions of the weird and fantastic, I am actually in awe of the way you paint the movements of the characters in the more everyday settings. The scene with Prin and Sarine talking bullets where Prin lays her hands and where she sets her feet. Really clear imagery and scene setting. Terrific.
Author's Response: Hi Miranda, First off, thanks for taking the time to comment on all of this story, it really means a lot. Can't wait to see what you think of volume 3! I wanted to make the Laurentii a truly alien race in my Trek universe - both physically, technologically and in their way of looking at the galaxy. There is a lot more to them and their Hegemony, only touched upon in this volume, which will be deepened in the upcoming Volume 4. I'm so glad that you enjoyed the mysterious alien setting. And yes, definitely would not want bed and board in Onyx Station!! Personally, I loved the Sisko/Emissary arc, though I agree that it could have been handled better. I definitely wanted to emulate the Sheridan/Sinclair/Babylon 5 mythos here, so I'm glad that comes across and that you feel I have developed it in an interesting way with my own spin. Sarine and Prin are an important relationship in the story, a friendship that has survived a lot, including a failed romance, a brutal argument with years of recriminations afterwards, and much more only touched upon. Their relationship has mellowed somewhat, and Prin is probably the closest Sarine has to family now. Thanks so much for the kind comments about the settings and movements, and again so glad you're enjoying this!