Date: 28 Sep 2014 20:23 Title: Chapter 14
I really like the view that I've gotten of your world from this story. I love the darker, grittier view of Starfleet. I love the multitude of higher forces that are at play. I love how none of your characters are perfect, and none of them have the magic "I win" bottom on their console. I love how you've allowed your crew to essentially fail this mission. I can't wait to get started on your other stories, because I'm sure that all of the actions that were taken in this story will have rippling repercussions, not only on the political landscapes, but also on the interpersonal relationships and inner strife of the characters.
Much obliged for the reviews of this story! Yes, there's is a complex universe without a lot of easy answers or satisfying victories.
Date: 28 Sep 2014 20:08 Title: Chapter 13
As this story continues, the parallels between Sandhurst and Ramirez are becoming more and more apparent. Ramirez's empathy has surprised me a lot more than Sandhurst's. She initially came off as the type who would take the Cardassian's actions more personally, and who would be more accepting of the Klingon's interrogation.
I've always believed that despite what the TV show presented, enemy races would have delineations in their "gray areas." That Klingons, for example, who were more likely to encounter Starfleet personnel were normally the more "even keel," open-minded sort. K'Vada seems to shake this belief; though presumably the "bad seeds" wouldn't be entirely relegated to the "far side" of the Empire. And of course, he surrounds himself with similarly-inclined ruffians.
K'Vada is a Klingon patriot, with all the horrific baggage that entails. He respects the Federation as powerful allies, but as we've seen, he can't stomach what he perceives as Starfleet's weak stomach for doing the ugly things that 'have to be done' in order to secure the peace.
Date: 28 Sep 2014 19:51 Title: Chapter 12
There is something about Ramirez that is decidedly adorable in this chapter. I also like how this shows sides of Pava that stand in start contrast: the listener, and the warrior. His handling of M'Sharv was hilarious.
Date: 28 Sep 2014 19:34 Title: Chapter 11
This chapter really shows a good deal about Sandhurst's character. It's one thing for a Starfleet Captain to simply refuse to do harm to enemy forces and civilians. It's another entirely for him to feel such concern about what non-Federation forces will do to them. The Cardassians captured by the Kang likely took action that lead to the death (or viral illness) of Phoenix crew. There's no reason for Sandhurst to feel such empathy for them, yet still he does.
Date: 28 Sep 2014 18:53 Title: Chapter 10
Oh, the unenviable clean up process. Still, it seems as though through all this, Ramirez and Sandhurst have reached somewhat of an improved-- albeit tenuously so-- relationship.
At least, they have until Ramirez comes across the red shirt he has with her name embroidered upon it.
Date: 28 Sep 2014 18:25 Title: Chapter 9
I'm hoping the shared frustrations between Sandhurst and Ramirez leads to a higher level of appreciation from both parties. Also, I feel bad for Sandhurst. Commanding one ship was a new enough experience, and now he's acting as a Fleet Captain. Fortunately, Cardassian greed and superiority has driven Panor to make a very unwise set of decisions.
Perhaps now Salk will be more interested in providing Starfleet assistance!
Date: 28 Sep 2014 12:52 Title: Chapter 8
Oooh, interesting little mystery we have here, and also a crescendo of activity that all seems to be moving towards the Crolsa sector. If he manages to work through all of this, I suspect Sandhurst will have a tremendous amount of paperwork awaiting him.
Date: 28 Sep 2014 12:30 Title: Chapter 7
I really admire your ability to still include a lot of detail without detracting from the "urgency" of the story. I also enjoy the fact that there is chaos from every angle: on the planet, on the Phoenix, in Sickbay, and among the engineers. Clearly Sandhurst is getting a baptism by fire.
It looks like Ramirez is the next to end up in that boat. I can only imagine the expression on her face right about now.
Date: 26 Sep 2014 20:47 Title: Chapter 6
I like this Jonin character. It's interesting to see other ship's crew looking down on Sandhurst... you wouldn't see any Lieutenant say no to a Kirk, Picard, or even a Sisko or Janeway.
I really enjoyed the glimpse insidge Sandhurst's head on the bridge. Doubt, trepidation, fear... these are things we rarely see in Captains. But even those with the longest of legacies is human at heart!
Can't wait to see how everyone works their ways out of this one!
Date: 26 Sep 2014 12:18 Title: Chapter 5
Ooooh, bio weapons. So very Cardassian, yet something that doesn't get brought up nearly enough in relation to them. I want Lar'ragos' flechette projectile weapon...
Yes, the Cardassian insurgents have been busy making bad, bad things.
Date: 25 Sep 2014 19:10 Title: Chapter 3
Poor Urlak, forced to deal with Ferengi to get the things he needs. This would have never happened before the Dominion War...
I can't wait to see if Inish's risk pays off!
Inish is a gambler. Cautious Ferengi seldom profit... that must be in their rules of acquisition somewhere!
Date: 25 Sep 2014 18:23 Title: Chapter 2
Oooh, so many things that I like in here. I like the difficulties that a smaller, older ship are going to cause. I like that this isn't a "Starfleet's finest" sort of situation, but rather a "this is who we could throw together with limited time and resources." I love the resentment and conflict between CO and XO.
Something tells me smooth sailing isn't in Gibraltar's future... at least no time soon.
I am struck, however, with an urge to sneak on the bridge, set up a bunch of holoemitters and make it look like it's 23rd century incarnation.
But actual buttons and switches would bruise their delicate, 24th century fingers! ;-)
Date: 21 Sep 2014 01:41 Title: Chapter 1
I love any story that starts out with Cardassia :-D
One thing that I think canonical Star Trek downplays is just how much these sweeping galactic conflicts have rippling aftereffects, which may actually be worse than the conflict they stem from. I cringe at post-Dominion War tales of happiness and love, etc. All sides suffered losses; the most grievous of these were the losses to Cardassia. And not because of number dead, or the state of their homeworld... no. They had a mindset that had been ingrained for hundreds, if not thousands of years.
They will not go gently into that good night.
Think about it. You do the same thing over and over for centuries, and despite some small hiccups (which are to be expected), you succeed. The one time you really make a close alliance with another kind, and let down your xenophobic guard... it all sorts of goes to hell.
So sure, you'll take a bit of help, but you're going to start planning your exit strategy.
I'm really excited to read more of this story because you seem to have captured that exact sentiment and mindset extremely well. I also really enjoy your ability to paint the scene for the reader, but without going so far as to make it overly wordy or contrived.
Thank you for the detailed feedback, it's much appreciated! You've very accurately summed up Cardassia's position in this whole, unfortunate mess left over from the Dominion War.
Date: 18 Jul 2014 01:41 Title: Chapter 1
Good way to start your series Gibraltar. Opening with Point Station Epsilon in the Allied-Occupied Cardassian Territory was pure genius. I really liked how you described the station Epsilon in great detail, telling how it wasn’t the best built station and that it wasn’t completely planned out like the other better built stations by the Starfleet Corps of Engineers. Then you go on to describe the planet of Lakesh. How it was attacked and that the crew was helping with water purification. This story fascinates me. Now I’m ready to move onto chapter 2 to see what happens next. I cannot wait to see where you take this and how it ends. Thanks for sharing this and keep writing.
Thank you for the review. :) I'm pleased you're enjoying the tale.
Date: 18 Jun 2012 17:37 Title: Chapter 14
I really enjoyed this story, and I'm looking forward to reading the next. I certainly enjoyed Sandhurst's parting line - probably many a captain who had no clue what they were getting into. Looking forward to the next part!
I'm pleased that you enjoyed the story so much. Thanks again for the terrific feedback!
Date: 13 Jun 2012 08:20 Title: Chapter 7
I almost cried...I am so very angry and heartbroken by this plague you've created. PLEASE tell me there is some happy ending for that crew (well, DON'T tell me, but you know what I mean.) UGGH!
The neuropathogen is a truly terrifying weapon, being as its so much more sinister that simply killing someone outright.
Date: 13 Jun 2012 04:46 Title: Chapter 6
That was an incredible way of describing the El-Aurian's abilities...I might have to utilize that in the future, lol. And so far, I've been really enjoying the scenes leading up to this so far, as far as the ground battle. It looks as if the crew is beginning to not only come together quite handily, but also learning very quickly to rely on each other's abilities. Now, I think I'm just worried about the Doc... :(
I'm pleased you enjoyed that segment. The conversation between Ramirez and Lar'ragos was great fun to write.
Date: 02 Jun 2012 02:33 Title: Chapter 1
I'm a sucker for the brand-new, untried Captain character. I like seeing the uncertainty, that seems a lot more believable to me than the captain we usually see stepping off the turbolift onto a bridge and immediately knowing just what to do.
And holy crap that ship got wasted...that was just...evil!
Thanks for the commentary!
Yes, Sandhurst has a great deal of learning to do, no doubt about it.
And Sojourner did indeed get destroyed in insidious fashion.
Date: 30 May 2012 19:06 Title: Chapter 14
This was a good story that got into the meats and bones of the Allied occupation of the Cardassian Union. There was no dithering around at the beginning with introducing crew members, neither did you expand upon every main character which is a good thing as it leaves some mysteries, interest and questions for later stories.
That was one tight plot with twisted villains, dubious characters, heroes and learning-the-ropes captains (and more) all thrown in. You know how to write a good plot I'll give you that. I presume from this story the big three are Sandhurst, Ramirez and Lar'ragos. Nice work with Lar'ragos as I feel he is the strongest character of them all. A mixture of Guinan, Kira Nerys and Odo all lumped together. Guinan because Lar'ragos is El Aurian, Kira because Lar'ragos has been a soldier and committed some terrible things, and finally Odo because he's sort of like the outsider. He knows things and has had a long life. Lar'ragos is like the exact opposite of Guinan.
I feel sorry for the Cardassians though, they are really screwed and fighting back against the Federation and Klingons (especially those turtle-headed maniacs) is only going to send them further into misery, despair and great loss. Your Cardassian Union is literally like Germany post World War 2, except the Cardassians have one government however weak whereas the Germans had two: one for West Germany the other for East Germany.
For one snazzy plot, ballsy topics, interesting characters, cool features (and props like those hoverbikes), descriptive writing that left some images in my mind, bad-ass Klingons, Lar'ragos, moxy and intriguing politics, I give this story 4 and a half stars.
A good way to start off this series!
I'm very pleased that this story was so well received by you. My intent was to show how complex and messy the situation in the Alpha Quadrant was immediately following the Dominion War, seen from the eyes of a Starfleet crew who were not the best and brightest.
Many adventures lay ahead for this ship and crew.
Thank you again for the fantastic feedback on the story. :-)
Date: 30 May 2012 18:44 Title: Chapter 13
You tell him Ramirez, you tell him! Ramirez has got some balls confronting the captain like, even so more have a go at his best friend. As for the Klingons you write them the classic way: nasty and crazy conquerors with little in the way of humanity. The best way! The more I think about about K'Vada the more I realise he is a bully; I'm certain he wouldn't be halve as gung-ho if he didn't have such a commanding position.
K'Vada may not be a bully in the traditional sense, but you're correct insofar as he's careful to stack the odds in his favor.
And Ramirez is... well, she's herself, and Liana will never be a timid wallflower. ;-)
Date: 30 May 2012 18:30 Title: Chapter 12
Cool! Starfleet TacNet, 24th century Facebook for Starfleet officers? A nice touching moment with Ramirez and Lar'ragos, I liked that lull after all the battle and death. Good to see Ramirez is not some obsessive arrogant prat looking for promotion and she has a heart and a conscience.
Really digged that village battle scene to. It was like something out of Indiana Jones or one of those action movies... Cool idea using hoverbikes; reminds me of the zoomers in the PS2 game Jak 2.
Date: 28 May 2012 19:13 Title: Chapter 11
Love the Klingons, and I'm glad to see K'Vada is your classic bloodthirsty, warrior-driven, cunning Klingon of old! That last scene was a bit reminiscent of The Way of the Warrior were Dax and Sisko are discussing about the Klingon presence around DS9. I bet K'Vada travels with a few dozen ships (all of which are cloaked) when the need arrises for some additional firepower...
K'Vada definitely hedges his bets. He's as cunning as he is lethal, which is bad news for the Cardassian insurgency... and the Cardassian people in general.
Date: 28 May 2012 18:50 Title: Chapter 10
Hmm... Sandhurst pretending to be something he is not by actively engaging with his injured subordinates. Lar'ragos was right about captain's keeping a cool head and trying to sell it to the crew that everything will be alright. But I think Sandhurst should find his own style of command and just have more faith in his abilities; bonding with the crew can come later.
Sandhurst's trying to find his own command persona under less-than-ideal circumstances, to be sure. Here's hoping he lives long enough to settle into one. ;-)