Date: 02 Jun 2011 13:11 Title: Chapter Seventeen
While I may not agree with your assessment of Picard's actions in "The Wounded", I must say I loved how you presented it. Some of the best war fiction I've seen is often from the opposing side, and in their mind, they're just as correct.
Overall, a very good account of this event from the other side. In addition, I am looking forward to reading more of Thirteenth Order. :)
Well...my own view is actually pretty much like Macet's. I think Picard's handling of that situation was atrocious. But I'm glad you still liked reading it. :-)
Date: 19 Oct 2010 13:17 Title: Chapter Seventeen
Sorry to pour another review on you Nerys. But in amongst everything else I never got around to mentioning Gor Mindesa Rhos. Oh my! How traumatic as we begin to see the toll it s taking on her. It is quite terrifying to think about and all the more chilling for the approach you take to it. Very effectively portrayed. As well as being chilling and so sad it is also an example of an extrordinary kind of courage Rhos is displaying by showing such a committment to the cause. It remains yet to be seen how much it will cost her - she is literally losing a part of herself, her Cardassian nature, to the Vorta cloning. It also affects Macet too and he is clinging to signs of her retaining and holding on to her Cardassian nature, for example when she dips her head and he recognises it as absolutely Cardassian in nature. Wow to how that works for the characters involved.
One thing I never liked was the way that all incarnations of Trek treated things like that as having no consequences. I don't know how there wouldn't be consequences. Thank you for commenting.
Date: 19 Oct 2010 09:44 Title: Chapter Seventeen
Firstly, in response to my review, thank you for the thought out answer. In regards to Speros I love him as a character as I said for the edge he brings to the story. It isn't shouting and screaming drama either because as you said it only works when valid and appropriate. In the scene to begin the edge and drama with Speros was actually all low key - but it is all the potential conflict that can jump up when dealing with him. He is very engrossing and by default all those interacting with him.
In fact, the reason I preferred the first scene as to the latter [Note that I use preferred - I didn't dislike the latter between Macet and Spirodopoulos] is because various different characters have an exchange of opinions and ideas that is all very absorbing to read. It is absorbing to read and learn of their opinions and the reactions of others to those expressed opinions/ideas. Not so much the character conflict as the character interactions - which were very strong and good here.
Now in the latter we DO have an expression of ideas and YES we are 'surprised' to learn that Spirodopoulos is of an opinion that a much vaunted and famous Starfleet Captain was in the wrong and should have acted X, Y and Z instead. That in itself is an interesting revealation, albeit we the readers are in on how Spirodopoulus thinks. Likewise, there are bound to be many other Starfleet officers [particularly tactically minded security officers] who would have had a completely different approach to the Phoenix situation than Picard had. Hey any number of fanfic Captains and officers we both know and love [iIm thinking primarily the Gibraltar cast] would have completely different approaches. So Spiropoulos' apparent lack of loyalty to a senior officer I have no issue with. Every other Starfleet captain in canon, literature or fanfic has had a different way of doing things after all - so obviously there would be disagreements - especially where there is valid reason to do so.
Now we learn some fascinating things by virtue of what Spirodopoulus says in return to what Macet reveals. We learn he has a quick and keen grasp of things to come up with such an organised and well thought out response to the Cardassian. Which can't have been easy for him given the circumstances and the details he has just learned. In giving his opinion he shows Macet that not all Starfleet officers are mini-Picards. Picard was very much his own kind of officer - and various others who ahd to deal with him learnt this - from Riker, Jellico by default of taking charge of his ship and shaking things up, various Admirals, and of course later we saw Sisko and Janeway both were different kinds of captains. And that's just limiting comparisons to captains. We also see that his own opinions on the course of action that should have been taken were very much like Macet's own thinking. I don't think this makes Spirodopoulus treasonous or an awful Starfleet officer. In fact, it confirms how good a Starfleet officer he is to see beyond the petty and see the larger picture. It also confirms jus how much he shares in common with Macet. The two of them are as I said very akin to one another.
And rightly so, there shouldn't be a massive conflict between the two for the sake of drama. As you say Nerys, drama shouldn't be there for the sake of it, instead it should serve the story and of course come from the characters and what their reactions would be. Spirodopoulos' exchange here is very much in keeping with the established character and his building trust and relationship with Macet. Macet is undoubtedly surprised by what Spirodopoulos says - I think the starfleet officer himself has come much quicker to the realisation that he is on a similar wavelength to the Cardassian Gul than Macet has - maybe this is what will convince him that Spirodopoulos is not just in it to get out of prison camp. My only issue was just how concise and perfect Spiropoulos' response was to Macet - it was almost as if he read his mind. I thought there might also have been something else he might have brought to the table in terms of how he would have reacted. Being a security officer and a younger officer I imagine him to think and act differently to Picard AND to Macet. Perhaps I expected more surprise than a nod of agreement from Macet to the proposed options Spirodopoulos would have taken.
Now, I look forward to the fact that there might be a time in the future the two sides step on each other's toes. Obviously because it will create some great character interaction and story dynamics, in otherwords 'drama' - I hope you don't limit my definition of drama to hysterics, people in each other faces for the hell of it, pushing the enveloping for the sake of it, or writing a depressing thing with a bunch of anti-heroes. While some can make that into a good story and good drama [and some authors do an excellent job of using such tactics] it isn't needed or required to make good drama. Characters make for drama. And here it can be said, you continue to ahve compelling great characters I love to read.
To me, if drama occurs without the right context in the characters or the situation, or if it reaches a pitch that doesn't fit those factors, then it is hysterics.
As to Macet and his mannerisms, one impression I got from "The Wounded" is that he is very, very guarded in terms of his mannerisms. Nowhere was this clearer than the scene when he had just witnessed the destruction of those Cardassian ships, and instead of a lot of yelling and screaming like we would've gotten out of Dukat, and possibly even Picard would have done the same had the tables been turned, he restrained himself to the point of leaving the room so as NOT to go off in Picard's face. So even though he was indeed surprise, he's sometimes kind of Vulcan-like in his mannerisms.
But anyway, my characters will step on each other's tails when it makes sense--no more, no less.
Date: 18 Oct 2010 12:45 Title: Chapter Seventeen
I have to say I was fascinated by the 'senior staff' meeting between the Guls and Spirodoplous. Gul Speros is especially an enthralling character to read about, whether it is anticipating what he has to say or how others are going to react to what he says. He is a very for lack of a better word 'entertaining' character. My reason being that there is so much drama and conflict possibilities surrounding him. From the more careful and reserved officers like Macet and Berat who try to manage Speros to a degree to seeing Falinni react to Speros and talk about the Bajorans. It puts the reader on tenderhooks seeing what way he will go.
In addition to this, we see that the mission and the dilemma that now exists now that they are free to begin their operations against the Dominion. What are they to do? There are lots of valid suggestions being made but not every one of them is entirely possible or the best course of action. It shall be interesting to see how this all unfolds. Likewise the continuing question of how the Federation officers will fit into the plans.
Then we come to the important conversation between Macet and Spirodopulus. It is a very illuminating point that is delievered from a Cardassian stance of the events surrounding the Phoenix incident and Maxwell. It is also illuminating to see Spirodopolus' opinion on matters. My own beef here is how it all plays out a little too evenly. They more or less read off the same page here, and whilst I appreciate the point being made I would have preferred a little edge or drama to things. My point being to look back at all of the delicious drama that surrounds the interchanges with Speros. Obviously, since Macet and Spirodopoulus are more akin to one another there wouldn't be the same conflict. Otherwise, another greatly detailed and well thought out chapter Nerys.
Looking forward to where and what you do now with their fight and how not just the Starfleet and Cardassian forces integrate together but also how will the various Guls work together too?
I think the big thing about Spirodopoulos is that he is not like most Starfleet officers. Macet was not expecting to find that degree of common ground with Spirodopoulos. He was willing to work with him, but he still had a bad impression of Starfleet because of the Phoenix incident. Seeing that Spirodopoulos was SO much more reasonable from his perspective was an eye-opener for him, and shattered his stereotypes.
I do not see the need to have my characters have drama and arguments for the sake of arguments. I like Battlestar Galactica, but I don't need to write it--just the same as I do not need to write TNG where conflict is forbidden. There is a time and a place for it. With Speros throwing his verbal bombs, conflict was inevitable. With Spirodopoulos and Macet, the whole point was that they found there was NOT a conflict, and I think it surprised Macet. And undoubtedly it also made Spirodopoulos think, too, to discover he could get on such a wavelength with this Cardassian gul. In that case, it was NOT the place for conflict. If you think that one of the two should not hold the opinions they do, fine. But I am not going to have my characters in each other's faces just for the hell of it. There has to be a legitimate reason for it, not just because I happen to feel like pushing the envelope or writing a depressing thing with a bunch of anti-heroes.
Speros, depending on what happens, may well be an anti-hero. It's not the character type overall that I have a problem with, and if I didn't think there was a place for drama, believe me, I wouldn't have had him doing his bomb-throwing with Folani and Berat.
The Cardassians and Federation will still step on each other's toes yet. But it is NOT necessary to have it going on all the time.
Date: 18 Oct 2010 02:53 Title: Chapter Seventeen
I'll be lazy and repeat word by word what I have written on TrekBBS :)
Speros vs. Berat - it's interesting to watch how they have to cope with each other. Speros with his oh-so-Cardassian attitude, and Berat, with his patience. Sometimes I feel like he sadly smiles inside at Speros's aggression, a fatherly smile in a way, like a smart one forgives the silly/stubborn one. I don't know if what I try to say makes any sense, but that's how I feel.
Speros is the old type brass and Berat is everything but old type, and they -Speros actually - would have to cross the bridge some day and get closer to ones like Berat - or Macet - to soften the rigid approach to some matters; and some people, Cardassians and non-Cardassians.
Spirodopoulos is not a blind Federation citizen, who believes in its superior morality, superior right to do things and superior whatever whenever however. He can see that his Federation is not perfect and that there are Captains who make mistakes.
I wondered what he would tell Macet, but even if I suspected he wouldn't support Maxwell's and Picard's - especially Picard's, which are served to us with a pretence of correct and right - actions, I wouldn't have guessed that his opinion would be so harsh. "Maxwell was insane." He not only says that, he back that with arguments.
Maxwell could have brought a war on the Federation, but the Cardassians didn't react. I'm tired of people pointing out how bad Cardies are, they were arming, Maxwell wanted to protect the peace, blah, blah, blah.
Protect my a$$! He murdered hundreds of innocent people and Picard didn't stop him. You don't prevent a war shooting and murdering people, you start it this way. The Central Command didn't pick the bait, lucky for the Feds, and that tells me that they were not as evil, bloodthirsty warlords they are presented. Maxwell falls into that category and I'm sorry to see that Picard, and many others, seem not to see that.
Loyalty and support of a man, who took lives and risked destroying many more, is misguided [irony mode] even if he is a Federation captain [/irony mode].
I think that's good Macet and Spirodopoulos cleared that between them. That conversation was very important as now they both know where they stand, what to expect from each other and that's a good step to deepening their trust.
Since I've already replied at TrekBBS, I will just say thank you! :-)