Date: 29 Jul 2013 18:00 Title: Chapter 5
A very tidy end to the whole thing. Perhaps the court room admission is a little Matlock but hey who doesn't love Matlock. With that said, the cleverness of the piece comes with us realising that the tough and resilient Reed who seems to have been rolled over by the juggernaut of this situation is shown to be shellshocked by his war experiences. The shellshock of the rape charge experience paralleling somewhat the shellshock of the war. Very neatly done.
In addition to the character work, you also play into the universe set up of ENT and figure out the different attitudes and strong emotions that would surely have abounded at the time. A United Earth government doesn't mean a unified humanity after all.
Exactly - we are fed a lot of United Earth, but there have to be a lot of people who just don't feel that way.
People will always protest, or will object, and Roddenberry vision or not, life is just not like that. Humanity is not a monolith of feeling.
And yeah, the confession is a bit too pat (I was wanting to wrap it up by that time, m'self!). But I did want the preliminary hearing to be the end of things from Malcolm's end, so that he could be free to begin his recovery.
Thank you so much for reading and reviewing!
Date: 29 Jul 2013 17:54 Title: Chapter 4
Good to see the nod to the hatred of the Terra Prime movement. Such hatred would not easily die away. And neat carroling of the suspect into Starfleet hands.
Meantime, Malcolm is going through the emotional ringer here. Nice seeing all the different people who are a part of Malcolm's life trying to be there for him and of course seeing Malcolm keep a lot of that help at a certain arm's length. We see too, that the only person he really wants there with him is Lili and he's the one person he wants to try and protect from this. It's a little hookey on one level his whole reasoning for keeping her away lest it damage his case.
He can't have her with him, and it's killing him. But he's right to keep her away, as she really would have been called, if he'd been put on trial. What helps him legally hurts him emotionally.
Date: 29 Jul 2013 17:44 Title: Chapter 3
And you continue to stack up the issues against Reed. All this of course increases his plight but is also an effective way to get the reader to relate to Reed who wasn't always relatble to in the series. In fact, a story set up like, with Reed framed in the wrong might just have been a good idea for his character development.
The fact you hit on the violations felt by the suspects is also very authentic feeling. Obviously, the trauma and violation to the victim is immeasurably more but this is still galling and hurts those undergoing it.
For Malcolm, who is being photographed in the nude, it's beyond distasteful. It's dirty feelings and it's even worse because it's being done, ostensibly, for his own good. But Dawson's right; Brannagh's got it far worse.
Date: 29 Jul 2013 17:36 Title: Chapter 2
Damn. This got into a messy situation for Malcolm quickly. The key to such a situation being truly tense and suspenseful is to have the situation stack up badly for the hero. All too often in Trek when they tried similar type storylines they failed to do so. Here you manage to make thisquite grim. And it is also very saddening to see such a bright character like Ruby get so badly treated.
When I wrote this (it was a challenge about crimes), I considered murder as the charge but decided on rape instead, as it can be an even harder thing to deal with.
Ruby might not survive; that's the bottom line there.
Date: 29 Jul 2013 17:26 Title: Chapter 1
I love the fact you are writing about this time frame and of course that you are writing about the fall out from the Romulan War, the effect on a war weary home-front and the long lasting effects the horrors have on those who experienced it like Malcolm.
It is also noteworthy how yet again you treat canon and your own fanon so well and favourably. You knit everything together in a fantastically organic way. With simple lines, you provide backstory and easy exposition that allows someone like me who is reading all out of kilter to pick up and read on through with the story.
And again, the different characters all have their own story going on. Malcolm is shutting himself off and yet is wanting to reach out.
Julie meantime gets a kick in the teeth after serving thorugh two terrible times. Trying to keep the unit going after the death of Hayes had to be tiring and hard. Then she had the challenge of facing the Romulan War and lead her MACOs through that. Having done so successfully, one would expect some kind of recognition or reward. Instead, she is getting shafted here. I mean, Starfleet choose to put someone supposedly more qualified for the post in place AFTER the war? WTF!
I wanted it to be imperfect. Starfleet messes up, certainly, and they don't always make the best decisions. But the people who work there have to respect the chain of command, and they have to swallow it. Julie has her own issues, at the same time that the men get theirs.
Date: 31 Aug 2012 18:55 Title: Chapter 5
A fantastically strong, emotive piece and a little refreshing somehow to see postwar Enterprise. Reed, the O'Brien of the ENTverse.
Ha, yes! A bit put upon, our guy is - and he would have so HATED it if any of that came out in public. But at least he took the advice given him at the end.
Date: 31 Aug 2012 16:33 Title: Chapter 5
Hah! Called it, although I couldn't account for the missing item. Very satisfying piece, though, and oh-so true to human nature, both in the case of the protestors and of Reed and his struggle with shell shock. Excellent work, jespah. My hat's off to you, madam. :D
Thank you very much! I wanted it to be less of a mystery as to the perp versus why, and how to get from Point A to Point Z.
Date: 31 Aug 2012 16:21 Title: Chapter 4
I found this protest scene interesting, but so true to human nature. They have moved from a fear and misunderstanding of various human races to banding together as Terrans to display xenophobic tendencies toward other species within the Federation. Dare I say that's what the group of protestors at the 602 Club found so disturbing about Ruby in the first place? Hmmm...the plot thickens.
My only question - just what happened to those one to two items missing from the box in Malcom's quarters?
My idea is that it's just lost to the ages. It's one of those things he didn't keep track of because he didn't think he'd have to. After all, his encounter with Veylo was years before. Memories deceive us. There is the very real possibility that he discarded the remainder or lost them, gave them away or even someone took them.
Shh don't tell anyone but it's a big, fat red herring.
Date: 31 Aug 2012 15:56 Title: Chapter 3
Wow - you're really putting poor Malcolm through the wringer. I very much like the feel of this - it's like CSI and A Few Good Men meet 22nd century forensics. Very good, very believable, and very engaging.
Thank you - my instinct was to try not to make it too much of a procedural, but also give him a lot of an embarrassing background so there are all sorts of uncomfortable questions that could be asked. And God knows he doesn't want to be spilling about all of that in open court.
Date: 30 Aug 2012 20:11 Title: Chapter 1
Very nice with setting the scene, jespah. Particularly disturbing was Malcom's recurring nightmare, but it's one I suspect many soldiers who have lost friend or colleagues in battle face.
Interested to see where you go with this.
Thanks; the poor guy is definitely affected.