Date: 23 Nov 2011 23:22 Title: I. Many gods and many voices.
That was amazing. The best bits were how you used key events (the death of her father, stuck in a cellar with Damar and Garak) to examine times when she had a crisis of faith.
You write the Kira Nerys character really well, and each scene is really cleverly writen and well-thought out. You've given me some ideas about how to write Kira Nerys. So thanks!
Author's Response: A belated response, but thank you so much for this! I'm really glad you enjoyed the story - Kira Nerys is one of my all-time favourite characters to write.
Date: 21 Jul 2010 03:59 Title: VI. The past and future are conquered, reconciled.
I'm curious, what political and religious upheaval are you referring to--is it the one in the Pocket Books novels? (Though I doubt it since you don't have Bajor getting absorbed into the Federation and Kira is still referred to as a colonel.)
To see Kira finally get a moment of real peace is the most rewarding thing about the end of this story--peace with herself and her deities as well. :-)
I had thought about setting this section explicitly in the Relaunch universe, but decided against it in the end - the political and religious upheaval is just a vague reference to some unspecified crisis. Goodness knows Bajor seems to have more than enough crises to go around. ;)
I'm so glad that there's a sense of peace at the end of this story - I'm always concerned about losing momentum in something this long, and I'm relieved that the ending was satisfying.
I just wanted to say again how grateful I am for these reviews - thank you so much for taking the time to read through all of this, and for providing such interesting points of discussion. I really appreciate it! :)
Date: 21 Jul 2010 03:53 Title: V. In the sombre season or the sudden fury.
Now we REALLY have Kira's attitude about the Cardassians coming full-circle, as she finds herself actually starting...even in brief instants...to experience something like camaraderie with them. And at the end, for her to be truly repulsed and sickened by what the Dominion has done to their world (when I imagine she thought she would've wanted that, during the Occupation)...finally her character has grown to maturity here. This, to me, is the climax of the story.
You've nailed the voices of all of the characters, too--Damar's bluntness, Garak's obfuscations...but what's remarkable is Garak's honest remark that not only respects Kira, but her beliefs too (contrasted with "Things Past," where Garak had to actually walk in a Bajoran's shoes and learned nothing from the experience). I'm curious, do you accept AJR's A Stitch in Time as part of your "canon"? A lot of what happens here seems to foreshadow that book.
And this passage shows the hardest part of relationship with deity: the moment when it turns to the bluntest honesty possible and all of the angriest pent-up emotions come out. Some don't recognize it as such, but that too is part of the faith experience.
The revolution-from-the-basement arc was my absolute favourite plot DS9 ever did, just because it felt so satisfying from a narrative point of view, seeing Kira come full circle as she did. It was fantastic to get a chance to write a scene taking place there, and I'm really glad you've pinpointed this as the climax of the story, because that was my intention exactly.
And thank you so much! This is my first non-drabble fic in the fandom, and Garak in particular is a difficult nut to crack, voice-wise. It's so good to hear he was recognizably Garak-ish.
As for my personal canon, well, it seems to change depending on which story I'm writing. ;) I deliberately put in the reference here to Edosian orchids to hint at A Stitch in Time, but the more I worked on this section, the more the rest of that novel started to creep in here and there. I'm so glad somebody spotted it!
It's extremely gratifying to know that there's a recognizable progression here in terms of faith - I felt like I was thoroughly out of my league when I accepted this prompt in a challenge on Livejournal, because I have virtually no personal experience to draw on. So thank you, very much, for the reassurance - and thank you for another thought-provoking review!
Date: 21 Jul 2010 03:45 Title: IV. Lost in a shaft of sunlight.
I'm glad we got to see the aftermath of the KO Damar incident!
You can also see the evolution of Kira's attitudes towards Cardassians here--in the same passage we have her able to (indirectly) praise the attention Ziyal is getting from the Cardassian Institute of Art, and showing her friendship for Ziyal, yet in her thoughts we see it's still merely the vaunted Cardassian attention to detail.
Ziyal is such a fascinating character--she's incredibly naive sometimes in that even when her father tried to kill her she still isn't creeped out by him, but she has such a heart of gold that you can't help loving her in spite of that major flaw. (I also think that sometimes Dukat acts the way he does not just because he wants someone who will praise him no matter what...but because I think he sees his own lost soul in her. Ziyal ended up influencing my AU version of Dukat, in a way.)
One thing that also surprises me...you put a heart inside that Breen armor (and fittingly gave us none of their dialogue), by suggesting that Ziyal was actually able to get some of them to listen and show some restraint sometimes. That was a real attention-getter.
You know, I've always wondered why Kira didn't kill Odo for treason (other than that the writers didn't want to take the character off the show). You hint at the conflict there--Odo's choice sounds quite irrevocable the way you have Kira speaking. If someday you ever take on Kira again, I wonder if you would be interested in writing the decision-making process that kept her from killing Odo?
I'm so glad you caught the language in that thought of Kira's - the "merely"s and such were a lot of fun to sneak in. It's one thing to accept, intellectually, that not all Cardassians are evil - but it's another thing entirely to try and erase a lifetime of thought and expression advancing the opposite feeling. There was a deleted scene in, what was it, "Sons and Daughters", where Dukat and Kira discuss Damar's unconscious sneer every time he says the word "Bajoran". That was the sort of thing I wanted, here, and I'm so glad it came through all right.
I'm so fascinated by Ziyal's character, and I love your description of how Dukat sees her - she is, after all, his one chance for some measure of redemption.
I really wasn't sure at first about the bit with the Breen, if only because we've seen so little of them to suggest any room for compromise. I tried to keep in mind that one Breen who helped our heroes escape from the Dominion prison camp - he was probably just acting toward his own best interest in siding with the escapees, but surely there's room there for a moral explanation? (Maybe not. But it was a fun idea to play with.)
One of my biggest issues with canon is the way they glossed over the conflict between Kira and Odo, reducing the reconciliation to one (off-screen) conversation, as though they realized they'd crossed the point of no return and couldn't find a way to put it right. Regardless of how far Kira would go to punish him, I think it could have been really interesting to have Odo flee the station and operate as a free agent for a while. Still, that's what AU fic is for!
Thank you again, so much, for these reviews!
Date: 21 Jul 2010 03:33 Title: III. (and the time of death is every moment)
Having Bashir wind up at death's door was an excellent "blind" for what was really going on--that this Bajoran medic actually lured them to the Defiant. I was left with a lot of questions in the end...whether he was a willing traitor or not.
The only distracting thing about this passage is that "Terran" is another word for "human."
Overall though, this was still a very effective passage. I like the pattern of prayers you're setting up throughout the story--not only is Kira growing herself, but so is her experience of faith.
Thank you again! I've been really looking forward to receiving these reviews for each chapter - it's definitely made my evening. :)
I actually debated opening this section up into its own story, which would have let me flesh out some of those unanswered questions, but I think the shorter version works here, ambiguity and all.
And you're so right about "Terran"! I noticed that it was jarring early on, made myself a note, and promptly forgot to change the name.
Thank you for reviewing!
Date: 21 Jul 2010 03:27 Title: II. Always a seamark to lay a course by.
You definitely got pre-Klingon-Party-Girl Jadzia Dax right! (I sure miss her...I think Curzon's personality took her over.) And Sisko's reaction to Kira's comment...priceless!
Kira herself you're also doing quite well with.
Author's Response: Hurrah! It's great to hear Jadzia came through well, because I found her extremely difficult to write. Thank you so much!
Date: 21 Jul 2010 03:24 Title: I. Many gods and many voices.
Wow. I didn't even catch all of the levels of foreshadowing and connections between these visions on my first read-through. Kira definitely seems to "foresee" that she will see something else just as bad--but at this point I don't think she could ever imagine it would be on Cardassia Prime.
One thing that amazes me...the possibility that Kira could even imagine not just being called but BEING a murderer at that point. But I guess something had to be underneath even then, that bubbled up to the surface on that Gamma Quadrant moon.
This particular passage I also can't help seeing through my own characters' eyes--the horror and the helpless rage and shame at what happened.
Author's Response: First off, I think you were the one who mentioned that the first version of this I posted cut off mid-sentence? If so, thank you so much for pointing that out! The entire fic had been uploaded as one chapter, which was reading fine in preview mode, but caused some issues with the system when I actually uploaded it. It's been a while since I posted to this site - I think I'm still trying to learn how the whole thing went. (Including line breaks in reviews, apparently - bear with me!)
I'm so glad that the foreshadowing came through all right. I've recently started a rewatch of the show from the beginning, and I'm always surprised at how much can be read as "foreshadowing" for later events, with the right eyes (though I doubt much of it was intentional on the writers' parts), and that was the feeling I wanted to capture here.
Thank you again for the review! I really appreciate your thoughts. :)