Date: 14 Jul 2014 18:00 Title: Chapter 4
A bitter sweet goodbye for Beks and Jodhaa. Her desire to leave is understandable after finding all her closest friends but one massacred. The scene of their parting felt appropriately somber. Even though we have only really known these characters for a short while, it truly felt like they had known each other a lifetime.
And of course Talon isn't truly dead. Ever notice how nobody who falls off things ever dies? What's up with that? But this guy was clearly too hardcore to buy the farm this way and Beks must have her revenge ... sorry, I mean justice. I liked the way she kept this all to herself. It's her cross to bear now and she'll stop at nothing until she gets her man.
Excellent story, dark, intense but also somewhat hopeful like the bright new day, following the storm.
Yeah, as you know from Cam's story, Jodhaa leaves it all behind to start over, to live a life among the stars but no longer chasing bad guys. Doesn't mean she doens't run into trouble of course - ha! But yeah the events of this had to be big enough to be a catalyst for a change in her life. Yet the moment between Jodhaa and Beks had to be genuine and real to have them ever consider parting ways. They've been together a long time. Beks took Jodhaa in and has been her mentor, almost a mother figure, so parting is very hard. I think though Beks knows it is for Jodhaa's best. So I'm so chuffed that it felt that had known each other a lifetime. Thank you so much for those words.
And ah yes, Talon. The hunter isn't truly dead. Yeah, falling from things doesn't seem to kill anybody. (but things falling on you ... well just ask Kirk that - but then again, we always figured he'd die on the bridge - never quite die with a bridge on him!) As I write in response to kes, the character of Beks and the size of the story required an enemy who tests her personally. She's a hunter. He's a hunter. She's a lethal shot. He's a lethal shot. She's relentless. He's relentless. She seeks justice and he ... well he wants revenge and to best her as he's enjoyed a reputation through the systems as an unstoppable killer and Beks and Jodhaa paid heed to that. In addition to causing him great bodily harm. However, there's personal stakes in it for Beks too and her personal drive for justice, that core value that drives her is going to be challenged by Talon. Because when is it justice and when is it revenge? Thanks so much for reading CeJay. Great comments.
Date: 14 Jul 2014 17:41 Title: Chapter 3
That was a fight for the ages. Long, brutal and unrelenting. To say this assassin doesn't go down easy would be the understatement of the century. I mean if I were Beks, I'd turn the ship around and fire a photon torpedo on what's left of his body, just in case.
In fact I wouldn't be surprised if this guy pops up again at some point, sure he's lost a few limps but that's nothing they can't fix with modern medicine.
Thanks CeJay! Yup, among one of my most favourite chapters to write it has to be said. Just stripped of most else and boiled down to a hard slog fight on all fronts. Nope, Talon does not go down easy but then that's his job to not go down easy. And of course, neither Beks nor Jodhaa were willing to be put down either. And yeah, Talon popping up again ... ? I'm saying nothing but you'll hear his name again in connection to the Rhapsody Rabbit Gavilán. Should he ever pop up again, I rather imagine he'll have quite the beef with Beks.
Date: 14 Jul 2014 17:22 Title: Chapter 2
High octane action here but I particularly enjoyed how you kept the imagery alive. The rain and the raging storm are almost as much characters in this story as Beks, Jodhaa and Talon.
In the meantime the hunters turn into the hunted and Beks has to give it her all to attempt and stop the unstoppable assassin and to give her friend a chance to escape. Was it all for nothing?
Talon should probably have fully verified the kill before moving on. Something tells me not doing so is going to be one of the biggest mistakes of his life.
Thanks CeJay. Yup, lots of action and the raging storm was a neat trick to tell, reflect and add to the action scenes. So chuffed you liked the imagery. And yes, Talon does seem nigh unstoppable ... but perhaps Beks may be too.
Date: 14 Jul 2014 16:58 Title: Chapter 1
Oaky, I'm a gonna admit it, I came over here after reading Cam's excellent Starting Over fic and after I got curious about her protagonist.
But I'm really glad I did.
First of all the opening prose is really good and evocative. Reminds me of some good old fashioned hard-boiled detective stories or film noir, y'know, Dixon Hill kinda stuff.
Maybe it even had a few hints of the Terminator, the way Beks went after her prey, all cool and collected as if the outcome was never once in doubt. And then Jodhaa comes in and messes up the master plan. Oh well.
I had an inkling that poor Borus was pleading for more than his freedom but you gotta guess that seasons bounty hunters like Beks and Jodhaa hear this kinda thing all the time. And then, Bang.
Judging by Beks' reaction, things are about to get really bad. Cool stuff.
Hey, you United Trek authors know better than most how linkage between one author's work to another can win a little interest, so I certainly don't begrudge that. And I'm glad you did too.
I appreciate especially the words about the opening. I was certainly going for imagery and a cinematic feel to start proceedings so I'm chuffed you liked it. Yes, Beks is cool, calm and collected and believes a good plan is a good plan. She doesn't really like to go off script but with Jodhaa sometimes improvisation is required. And yes, bad stuff is going to happen.
Date: 10 Jul 2014 19:20 Title: Chapter 4
These words are coming a long time after the last review was written, but I feel compelled to say them anyway, in the hopes that you, Fave, and previous readers of this story come to see them.
I've just finished reading this story again -- it's been a while, obviously -- and I have to say that I'd forgotten how powerful it was. The danger and intrigue are exceptionally written. The womens' fight to survive against a nearly unstoppable foe was remarkable. Their goodbye at the end emotional, but inevitable and necessary for these two to carry on toward their own destinies (not to mention Jodhaa was mine and I kinda needed her to leave, lol!).
It's amazing to me how very brilliantly you brought my character to life before I'd even fully fleshed her out. But then, that's the wonderful thing about being a writer, in that we have pretty much all the time in the world to evolve our characters. You gave me a wonderful foundation on which to build for Jodhaa's own adventures, and I thank you so much for that. I love that every now and then, I'll be able to refer to the time she spent with Beks and the others, a period of her life on which Jodhaa will more often than not reflect fondly. There will, for a while, be an underlying sadness in regard to her memories of Letva, Marro, and Rini, but they won't all be sad. And Beks was her friend, her boss, her mentor. And perhaps she doesn't know it, but not only was she a big-sister figure, but a mother-figure too, more than Jodhaa had ever had before. She's never going to forget everything Beks taught her or did for her.
As you know, I absolutely love this story. Kahless and I have on boiling in our brains in which Zaddo Natale plays a large role, something that we'll work in for the future. For now, like you, we're both working on rebuilding the shared universe. It's not the Eleventh Fleet anymore, not as it used to be, since we'll all be doing pretty much our own thing. But we're still in the same universe, and I just love that, and appreciate more than either of you will ever know that you still *want* to share the same universe. It'll be a little different, of course, what with the cononizing we talked about, but it'll still be as good as it was -- if not better. Can't wait to start sharing it with everyone.
Again, Fave, well done!
Aww, Cam, that's awesome of you to review and that you re-read the story (and that it seems to stand that test of time at least). I'm glad that the story worked so well. It was a privilege to include Jodhaa and to provide a shared background with Beks. I think it helped to lend a little extra depth to Beks to be grounded by people like Jodhaa and of course it will be telling moving forwards too in Beks story to see how it all affects her.
The emotional end was a perfect launch pad for both of these ladies in their future scapes. Both are off in their different directions and in ways they'll have very different lives but this will be an important defining moment. I was glad to have the emotional ending too after the intensity and brutality of the fight scenes. It hopefully added heart to the proceedings and in ways explains just why the two women fought so tenaciously for one another. Thanks again for reading and reviewing. Look out for more Eleventh Fleet origin characters and ships to appear very soon here.
Date: 06 Jan 2014 09:26 Title: Chapter 4
I knew he wasn't dead, and I had a feeling she wouldn't leave this alone. That said, she's wise not to. Something tells me she's hunting the hunter.
Of course, Talon is also hunting the hunter. This should be interesting.
This was top notch stuff, MF. Gritty and dark and adventurous. Reminded me of the Firefly verse, which is a compliment.
Yes who is hunter and who is hunted in the end? He was so much fun - is fun even the right word - to write pitted against Beks. I had to leave an opening at least for a possible return. Hey, they say all the best heroes need a worthy villain and given she's a bounty hunter with a sharp shooter eye, I figured it might be best to pit Beks against an equal if not superior hunter and shot. And Talon enjoyed toying with them, so if he ever showed up again, he'd make it long and drawn out torture for Beks. Given the scope of the series, it's a small crew and it's a small ship, with small little missions, it needed an advarsary who is not a galactic threat.
So chuffed you liked this, kes. Top notch - I'm using that as cover review! I especially like that you like it because of course, in this instalment it really is a knock out fight and action. There's no fleshed out story but it is a startign point for both of the characters. For both Jodhaa and Beks it's the start of new things. Both go their separate ways. Jodhaa leaving bounty hunting behind as seen in 'Starting Over' by CamSPD. And Beks gives every impression and kinda hopes she's leaving it behind. But we see she's still on the hunt and justice remains her guiding principle. Knowing he's alive means knowing he's not been served justice. Can she stay out of the bounty hunting line of work? And will she meet Talon again?
Date: 06 Jan 2014 09:19 Title: Chapter 3
Damn, that was some fight scene. Those weapons seem recklessly dangerous. I'd hate to see what they do to a ship in the vacuum. Beks is made of pure duratainium, though. Cooking and near crushing herself to get on the ship, and then having the strength and clarity of mind to put down that unkillable psycho? Makes me wonder what kind of performance enhancing drugs she must be on, honestly. But I'm glad she showed up in time. Nice teamwork between the women.
Thanks kes. Yes, it is a put down fight fir sure. I wanted the stakes to high and the fight to be brutal. Sometimes Trek fights on TV had to by merit of their medium be sterile and a little too ... bland. Writing a fight scene, especially one so intimate betwen just three people trapped within a small space, particularly on a civilian story, I had to up the stakes and make it more gritty and dirty and plain duke out. I also love that you are always reading things for an extra angle. Is Beks on some sort of performance enhancing drug? Love how you come up with that. Is she?
As for her clarity of mind and unstoppable nature, she's trained herself for this life and spent it calculating the risks, formulating plans of action. She's all about the tactics and strategy, so she views things in that kind of mindset. And of course, she's angry and she wants to protect Jodhaa, knowing at this stage that she's failed to protect the others.
Date: 06 Jan 2014 09:13 Title: Chapter 2
God, that was a gut-wrenching sequence with Jodhaa coming upon her friends' bodies. I didn't even know Rini or Marro but the way you described them through her eyes made me wish I had. As for the fight scene ... Yikes. This is one scary dude. I like the mystery around him, sort of a Darth Vader character.
Yay, so happy this worked. It had to absolutely awful to make her way through all of that it has to be said. And then only to have to face ... erm ... Darth Vader evil dude. Thank you for those comments as it was of course always going to be hard making the reader feel for characters they don't ever get to meet.
Date: 06 Jan 2014 09:05 Title: Chapter 1
What an opening. From the first moment, we are immersed in this world, with the pouring rain and the whipping wind and the grit and grime of the city. Fabulous description. But that doesn't take away from the tense action. Beks strikes me as a fascinating character and I'm interested to know what led her to this odd career. She seems very good at it though, if hardened by it. Or did something else harden her first?
Thank you kes for checking it out and for the nice words. I did work on creating a visual opening hoping to draw the reader in. Glad you liked it. And that the action felt tense, that was admittedly the harder aspect to this piece. I rather think Beks is fascinating. She's not as heated or as extravogent as many of my other characters but she's got a core value system, all of which led to this odd career. Beks has certainly had things happen to her that have hardened her. But its very much her resolve and sense of justice and fairness that makes her so driven but also tempered and level. She tries to keep an even keel and to be fair to everyone. Which can have the impression of making her appear harder than she is. Again, thank you for the insights and review.
Date: 19 Aug 2011 16:41 Title: Chapter 1
This is a really good "outside the box" story, and I think that is why I like it so much. I even went so far as posting a review of it in the forum section try and get others to read it. Great job to you and your co-creators...
Thanks Rob. The story and setting is all mine - I have to credit Cam with the character of Jodhaa and the mentioned Zaddon'atale. I had an idea for a bounty hunter for a time and the Eleventh Fleet universe seemed a fertile place to create such a story. So when I put it out to the other authors at the 11th Fleet they all liked the idea of it. Cam created Jodhaa after that little brainwave and so we had two bounty hunters on the go. We discussed our separate characters and came up with the idea of them having a shared background. My idea was for this to be it and so Cam kindly allowed me to write for and almost break Jodhaa and pave the way for Jodhaa's separate adventures, which you can find on the 11th Fleet site called 'Crossroads'. Thanks again.
Date: 19 Aug 2011 10:55 Title: Chapter 4
The end? Come on!!! Are you going to continue this story so we can see whether or not Beks finds Talon and or Zaddon 'atale???
Ha! Always keep the audience wanting more Rob. As such this is the end. I'm taking an episodic approach to this series along with the related stories of the Rhapsody Rabbit Gavilán. So smaller stories told over a shorter frame but continuing on from one another. Hopefully, it might pick up more readers that way rather than say Kestrel which is a mammoth over arcing story.
There is, and will be, an over all arc to this series - namely that of Beks trying to hunt down Talon and Zaddon'atale. However, along the way we will have little adventures and steps towards that end.
Again, thank you for reading Rob. Truly has made my day. Thanks.
Date: 19 Aug 2011 10:22 Title: Chapter 1
Oh, i wanted to say...I loved that line...
“Your voice sounds scratchy!” Jodhaa grappled to her feet and grabbed the bubbling pot on the hob. “Try some chicken soup bastard!”
LOL! I'm glad it grabbed you Rob. Sometimes it can ring a little false to have humour amid peril but I know from real life that humour is found in the darkest of times.
Date: 19 Aug 2011 10:22 Title: Chapter 3
Holy Shit Miranda...I can you please give us readers a rest stop along the way? Wow, great action writing here...probably the best I've ever read on Ad Astra!
Wow. Why thank you very much Rob for the compliment. Yes, it is a brutal fight and the event of this tale is important so I really wanted to show high stakes and a real fight for life situation. That's why there was to be no let up,and no rest for the audience. I wanted to just keep it coming. This is like one of those action packed pilot episodes that hopefully gets the reader coming back for more. Plus it works to make it intense and thrilling to keep it coming with no let up.
Thank you so much for the comment and for just even reading Rob. I'm thrilled and blushing and overjoyed again. I really had thought the story was going by the way side and considered the point of even posting it. So thank you, thank you, thank you.
Date: 19 Aug 2011 09:25 Title: Chapter 2
This fight scene toward the end of this part was expertly written. Although this is a STAR TREK story, I picture the gritty world of Alien or Aliens. I'm pretty sure Beks is alive, so will be fun to see just what Talon does or does not find.
And such a build up for Zaddon’atale. I hope its worth the wait!
Thanks. Yes, I was going for gritty so I'm chuffed to bits it came across for you. Again, thank you for reading. Really thought this story had been missed altogether. As for Aliens, I have watched it recently and I love its setting. To be honest, I'd love to do an Aliens setting. Or Aliens meets Trek! AhA!
As for Zaddon'atale, he's the big bad behind things. It will take some time before you meet him. He's actually the creating of CamPSD (who created the character of Jodhaa too) but so far he's been this off screen figure we are trying to build up into an evil crime lord and a force to be reckoned with. Seems I might have gotten that off to a good start by your reaction. Cool! Thanks again Rob.
Date: 19 Aug 2011 09:19 Title: Chapter 1
I like this opening because, first off, I like the babes on the cover! But I really love the way you set the scene. I really feel as if I am there. It also presents a realism in a Trek story that we seldom get, and some, like me, could never touch.
Great stuff here!
Thanks Rob! Firstly, I'm just pleased anyone read this story. It was just sitting here minding its own business not garnering any attention at all. So I'm thrilled someone read it and thrilled more that you found it an enjoyable read. Yes, I'm trying to create covers for my different ventures and to make them as eye catching as I can but the babes in question come from the shared universe project this story came out of where we cast our created characters. That gave license to using the actresses in question.
Thank you about the scene setting. I don't always do it but when I do I try to do it right, to give enough of a flavour to paint the picture for the reader. If you can do that at the beginning sometimes it creates the framework that allows the reader to do the rest themselves. Writing from a civilian perspective did mean I had to think outside the Starfleet box and it did allow for some delicious perspectives. Though even when I write for proper Starfleet I like to show some of the underside of things and not just the cool suave characters on the bridge but the non-coms getting their hands dirty and the newbie ensigns petrified in their boots. Thank you, thank you, again.