Date: 09 Nov 2020 16:26 Title: Day Eleven: Exit Music: IV
Good semi-resolve on the addiction issue. Not a substance I recall from the series, but I like it when authors invent new things that fit well with canon.
It makes a good segue for the character into the next story and I want to learn more about this particular substance, which, despite the dire talk about what it does seems to have also conferred at least one advantage.
Very interesting point to leave the story.
Author's Response: Syndicate-Y is all original, although not purely my invention either. This ending is very much setting up what's in store next for Tazla Star. Not a cliffhanger exactly but you gotta keep people interested. Again, huge thank you for reading and commenting on Shadows in the Haze. I know you're no stranger to long fiction but I appreciate these novels aren't exactly a quick read.
Date: 09 Nov 2020 16:19 Title: Day Eleven: Exit Music: III
The handshake being a uniquely human custom that might be unappealing to other cultures (indeed a number of human cultures). But it's a fantastic metaphor for the human influence on other federation and allied cultures.
Nice little closure beat for the Nora/Clancy story.
And a very interesting description of what was left of the Aphrodite cloud, which makes it an excellent cautionary for our own culture - after the two sides finally burn their dispute out in fire, all the light and beauty and life is gone and nothing is left but a drab gray and presumably lifeless mass.
Author's Response: Yep, they've pretty much burned it all to the ground. Violence begets more violence, nothing good comes out of war, etc. The message is fairly clear. It's perhaps a bit on the nose as well, but hey, this wasn't really a story about that in the end. This was all about the mystery.
Date: 06 Nov 2020 13:38 Title: Day Eleven: Exit Music: II
An amusing meeting wrap with enough gaping holes to drive a runabout through. Looks like Owens decided to take the long view although I would expect him not to let go of the espionage issue - just take it behind the scenes.
A bit of fun about the sensor array and very nice bit of visual writing - which this entire story has benefitted from.
The story reminds me of the Voyager episode that included my wife's favorite line from any Star Trek episode - "There's coffee in that nebula..."
Author's Response: Not just the wifey. It's always been the one of the most iconic quotes of the series in my book, too. Very glad you've enjoyed this story so far and have appreciated the visual style I tired to invoke. It's great praise to know that it has worked so well.
Date: 06 Nov 2020 13:27 Title: Day Eleven: Exit Music: I
Okay - having the yacht collide with the saucer, peeling the paint and stopping just short of the bridge is just pure fun. And extremely cinematic. This would make a great movie sequence.
Great closing line.
Author's Response: Got to get some comedic beats in here, right. And I agree, this is a scene I'd pay to watch.
Date: 05 Nov 2020 13:46 Title: Day Ten: Storm Warning: X
A literal cliff hanger within a cliff hanger. Nice monster sequence with Tela and a good end to an interesting monster.
Also quite enjoyable to see that the yacht got a much needed warp core (good callback to an obscure Trek reference - I think it only appeared in 1 episode of STNG and was never mentioned anywhere else except in rarely perused trek tech manuals.)
Very cinematic piloting sequence - which is always a bit of a trick to pull off. It was very easy to visualize.
Author's Response: I'm so fond of the cliffhanger, I had to take it to the logical next step .... (pun intended) Yeah, that was one thing that bothered me about the yacht. What's the point of having a starship without a warp engine. Seems pretty useless.
Date: 05 Nov 2020 13:30 Title: Day Ten: Storm Warning: IX
And a last minute save...
Best line - “Shut up,” Nora and Decaux said in unison. - Always a classic when the detective and one perp say that to another perp...
And the murder mystery resolve is public enough to spread around while more pressing concerns are dealt with.
Author's Response: A bit of a hero moment for Nora who had a tough time with this investigation and the way she comported herself at times. In the immortal words of the Bard: All's well that ends well. Although, we're not quite at the end yet.
Date: 04 Nov 2020 13:43 Title: Day Ten: Storm Warning: VIII
Very tasty.. In trying to come up with an advantage in their war, the crew have bumbled into a cold war and turned it into a hot one...
And now there's a clock - good old fashioned scifi/thriller device.
Nice recall on the very rarely used or mentioned captain's yacht. Which, if I recall correctly, doesn't have warp drive or much in the way of weapons. But the Eagle's version might be different from that of the Enterprise D.
Author's Response: I always liked the idea of the captain's yacht ever since I've come across it in the tech manuals, the only place it may have ever been mentioned. You get the idea that some writers really wanted to use it at some point or another but that for budgetary concerns they just went for a shuttle or runabout instead. No such limitations in this medium.
Date: 04 Nov 2020 13:30 Title: Day Ten: Storm Warning: VII
Not vulcan at all - now that is a surprise! I was expecting mind-controlled vulcans (well, heavily influenced vulcans) but this is something far more subtle. A simalacrum sufficient to keep a vulcan fooled for several days.
But a homunculus sufficiently detailed to be vulnerable to the nerve pinch and the mind meld...
The old scifi horror canard of "they're coming for our women" turned on its head - they're coming for our men...
Lots of stuff to like about this one and kudos on the well concealed curve ball!
Author's Response: Glad to see that I could offer a couple of surprises.
Date: 29 Oct 2020 14:52 Title: Day Ten: Storm Warning: VI
Here Lif comes to save the day...
When brute force fails, you might try science and diplomacy.
This is a crew and culture that have been militarized and kind of lost sight of the original purpose of Star Fleet - which I think you have mentioned on a few occasions. It is nowhere so clearly expressed as here.
And a clear warning for our own, currenty scientifically-challenged and diplomatically-challenged culture.
Author's Response: That's a great point. And this crew really does see itself as explorers, scientist and diplomats. Or at least they did before the Dominion War. Time to get back to the basics!
Date: 29 Oct 2020 14:43 Title: Day Ten: Storm Warning: V
So in a formal vulcan wedding do they paint the shotguns white?
This is a very fun story line - a vulcan version of a shotgun wedding. Not sure what sort of shenanigans these vulcans are up to, but I'm starting to wonder if all of them actually are vulcan. They are certainly not eager for the investigation to commense.
Xyl definitely made a good (and tactful) retreat.
Author's Response: Regular Vulcan weddings definitely don't go like this. I suppose Xylion is figuring that he's got his work cut out for him at this point.
Date: 27 Oct 2020 11:41 Title: Day Ten: Storm Warning: IV
An emergency shuttle landing inside the bay... A really cinematic feel and great suspense/thriller writing.
And has Srena been in contact with the alien? It sounds as if the entire nebula might be alive.
Several characters pop off the page - not only Katanga, but Leva as well.
Author's Response: Emergency landings are always fun. Except for the occupants of said shuttles. It explains why there've been so many crashed shuttles in the history of Star Trek.
Date: 27 Oct 2020 11:32 Title: Day Ten: Storm Warning: III
It feels as if there's a bit of a hive-mind thing happening among these wild vulcans. You have managed to take a relatively gentle scene and make it deeply unsettling.
There's an undercurrent that seems to suggest these vulcans can turn nasty very suddenly.
Author's Response: Something is worrisome is simmering under the surface here with the Vulcans. Same can be said for this entire nebula.
Date: 26 Oct 2020 13:38 Title: Day Ten: Storm Warning: II
That was quite the creative SOS - so we have an officer who writes songs that the captain and first officer are familiar with?
A musical signal - definitely more going on than Morse code.
Katanga remains a force of personality to be reckoned with and it looks like he might have a viable attitude for dealing with the Eagle's new antagonist.
This story has a complex layer of mysteries and a nice slow reveal, pulling back the layers one by one.
Author's Response: Deen is definitely a creative soul. The song she manages to transmit is actually a callback to her play at the very beginning of the story and both Owens and Star were in the audience for her memorable performance as a singing spirit.
Date: 26 Oct 2020 13:23 Title: Day Ten: Storm Warning: I
Good old SOS... I doubt the possesive lightning, the experimental vulcans and the furies chasing the Eagle out of the cluster are unrelated.
Another beat in the mystery. It does seem there is a will operating here. Something appears to be trying to play God.
Those are always interesting aliens... And the best villains.
Author's Response: Everything is related here. And you are certainly on to something. The pieces are beginning to fall into place now, soon we should get the full picture.
Date: 23 Oct 2020 14:53 Title: Day Nine: Last Seen Wearing: VI
Okay - when the narrative followed Clancy instead of joining the hunt with Nora, I was totally like, "she's in his quarters, armed and off her rocker..." And you did not disappoint. Great crazy woman scene made even better because she's almost certainly not entirely wrong.
Whether the monsters are evil or not remains to be seen - they might just be xenophobic. But they're certainly not friendly at the moment.
I really appreciate all the layers you've built into this story. A real conspiracy (two counting the espianoge.. three counting Star's drug use...) And psychological drama - very subtly presaged. Quite the kettle of red herrings.
Author's Response: You clearly know your genre so its tough to catch you by surprise. And yeah, a lot of stuff is happening in this little tale (not so little).
Date: 22 Oct 2020 12:21 Title: Day Nine: Last Seen Wearing: V
And the Admiral Akbar moment...
Why do I get a feeling the ship is being attacked from within?
Yet another mystery to add to the pile of mysteries - and no doubt they are all interrelated.
Perhaps they should try to analyze exactly what they're being hit with? Particle beam? Explosive charge? Subspace inversion?
Author's Response: The mysteries just keep coming in this tale. Hopefully it will all make sense in the end.
Date: 22 Oct 2020 12:16 Title: Day Nine: Last Seen Wearing: IV
Totally action-packed sequence topped with a great chase scene. I liked the slow-motion phaser flying through the air.
And Katanga is the gift that keeps on giving.
Author's Response: Thanks. This one was fun chapter and one of those that would probably look better on a screen than on page. I tend not to get caught up on the visuals when I write, as I appreciate the limitations of the medium, but sometimes I can't help myself.
Date: 21 Oct 2020 12:06 Title: Day Nine: Last Seen Wearing: III
You've built a really nice puzzle here with a lot of layers. A great mix of thriller/scifi/murder mystery storytelling.
So there was a conspiracy - just not one for murder... I'm not really sure how the public shaming was supposed to be accomplished, but then no conspiracy is perfect. And just enough clues along the way that it makes sense in the reveal without giving the reveal away. Lady Agatha would be proud.
And with yet another cliffhanger...
Author's Response: I agree, not the greatest plan ever devised. But then again, these guys' motives were a little suspect to begin with. Not to make excuses for Gedar, but when your motivation is simply to get back at somebody this badly, you're bound to make some leaps in your logic.
Date: 20 Oct 2020 16:43 Title: Day Nine: Last Seen Wearing: II
Tazla is on the right track. I suspected it was something else - but that's from years of Star Trek plots with telepathic takeovers of crew members from any variety of subspace foes - not all of them identified.
Spot on storytelling with schools of red herrings and plenty of distractions to keep the characters from zeroing in on the actual culprit... Whose trail I have no doubt Star is hot on now...
And really nice character development on Star.
Part Agatha Christie, part Fredriech Pohl - the classics never grow old.
Author's Response: Thanks for the nice words. Plenty of misdirection in this story which you've expertly spotted for the most part. I remember having had a blast mixing these two genres into a story. It's been done before, of course, including in Trek but perhaps not quite on this scope.
Date: 20 Oct 2020 16:30 Title: Day Nine: Last Seen Wearing: I
Good technobabble and no shortage of it. With Star Trek, technobabble is a vital part of storytelling and often gets a bad rap. But there's only so much "The engine's busted, the thingy won't come on and it just won't go..."
The vulcans seem very eager to separate Xylion from the Eagle. Treachery to be expected...
Author's Response: I said it before, I say it again, good Trek needs good technobabble. I think at it's core, it shows that Trek is making an attempt to be based on science, even if much of it doesn't make sense.
Date: 19 Oct 2020 13:07 Title: Day Eight: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: VI
Nice Agatha Christie reference. And a very nice beat in the Nora / Clancy relationship.
I particularly enjoy the way you have cross-cast a spiritual human against a non-spiritual bajoran. And that Clancy is loaded with good advice. I'm also a fan of twisty mysteries which is something you definitely have created here.
I still suspect it is all a school of red herrings and that something else is at work here. Been a long time since Owens has been awake..
Author's Response: I know Roddenberry got some flack for his highly secular view of humanity in the future but I quite liked that approach and how issues around spirituality tended to be dealt with by using alien races as proxy. The Bajorans are, of course, the most memorable of those. The dichotomy between Nora and Clancy is fun on a number of levels, including their different belief systems. As far as Nora is concerned, this will be a bit of a focus for her character moving forward.
Date: 15 Oct 2020 12:26 Title: Day Eight: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: V
Good thriller writing - which is hard to pull off. Nicely done! And a good beat in the Star / Owens relationship.
Author's Response: This one was all about tension. Well, I guess fake tension since, let's face it, the hero ship is obviously not going to blow up and kill everyone aboard. Still, a bit of fun and as you said, another key development in the relationship of these two characters.
Date: 15 Oct 2020 12:16 Title: Day Eight: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: IV
Good resolution on the Star / Nora relationship. And pretty clear that was no mere diagnostic Hopkins was running. The spy has been found, but the culprit is in the air.
Very fun and a good quick, clear read. With the trademark cliff hanger..
Author's Response: Glad you liked this scene, it's one of my favorites in this story as it really cuts to the core of these two women. Star seems to be the winner here and while things are likely going to relax between these two moving forward after this, it won't all be smooth sailing exactly.
Date: 14 Oct 2020 11:50 Title: Day Eight: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: III
Nice plot thickening. I still suspect something else is afoot that is entirely unrelated to all the machinations.
Lots of intrigue and twisted relationships. And Nora making yet another bad decision...
Author's Response: It's relationships to the ying-yang in this one, right? Oh well, you've got to have your "human" drama in a murder mystery. After all, it doesn't get much more personal than murder. If nothing else though, I'm sure Nora is learning a lot here.
Date: 14 Oct 2020 11:39 Title: Day Eight: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: II
Good quick processing chapter with strong visuals. This one definitely has the feel of a scene from a TV series.
Author's Response: Yeah, I can tell you like your short chapters. And there's much to be said about that format, especially for keeping the pace going. As you can tell I tend to keep mine a little longer generally.