Date: 17 Jun 2015 12:14 Title: Quit or Fail?
This was a great look at the dynamics between Rachael and Maren, as well as the events that led her to engineering and her decision process. Really enjoyed the interactions and thought processes from all parties here.
Well worth the wait. :)
Date: 20 Feb 2015 02:09 Title: Week Three
It's about time. No, not talking about Maren and JQ, that's a whole other disaster in the making, but Maren finally coming to realize where her true calling lies. And hey, it only took her almost burning up in Earth's atmosphere to figure it out. I actually quite enjoyed Maren not being good at things for a change. But now watch out galaxy, here comes the next great engineering genius. Are you ready for Maren O'Conner?
Date: 18 Feb 2015 04:54 Title: Week Three
WHEW. Well, that was a near disaster for Maren and JQ (one shuttle accident away from being a cautionary tale!). You captured Maren's boredom -- and frustration -- at being the only one not cleared for flight beautifully here, as well as the desperation that slowly (then quickly) crept in for everyone when they couldn't get those controls working.
But leave it to Maren O'Connor to fix something that's broken and fix it she did. This was a nice moment of win and self-discovery for her, and I'd imagine she's going to take that deal (getting of a class I'm failing with a C? I'd take that deal in a heartbeat).
As for Icheb ... man, you got to feel for the guy. Stuck in his dorm room, away from everyone he knew from VOY and having to deal with protesters (I wonder if all those crazy admirals just were tired of the Federation being so lax with protesters?), and considering a life where things would be easier.
But his heart -- dare I say, his soul -- is set on the stars and you conveyed that sense of destiny and want well. I especially liked the Seven cameo -- always a pleasure to see her happy (even if she as frowning a bit).
Looking forward to more -- especially the part where Icheb and Maren finally meet (like, for realz) and Team I/M can begin anew!
Date: 08 Jul 2014 13:29 Title: Insult to Injury
JQ; helping to ground Maren since the Academy.
Another great instalment and exploration of Academy days and curriculum events. It was terrific to see the excitement of Maren and John about going to Spacedock since neither of them had an upbringing that afforded them many opportunities to go visiting and traversing the stars like that.
It's a wonderful scene as they both share the viewport window and that exchange. No wonder the JQ/Maren party keeps winning converts when they have such hot little interactions. Especially as those interactions usually throw them for a spin. It makes the skirt chaser John forget skirt chasing and it makes the bookish Maren flush with other theories.
And interesting how they both are getting different experiences in the Academy and towards each other. Maren does obsess with her difficulties - maybe that's the problem with John - he makes / would make it too easy to be with him. Whereas when it comes to Icheb it's going to be a lot more of a challenge.
And perhaps we see here the flaw in Maren. She's brilliant at most things but fails to realise where she ought to be applying herself - to engineering and to JQ. Instead, she's stubborn and obstinate and pushes relentlessly and vainly at trying to improve at piloting. Failure does not become her and you know what it is troubling that she finds so much so easy. Life never ends up that way and it's usually easier to learn that lesson way earlier in life as it will better stand to you. JQ would be the perfect example of that. Icheb too for that matter.
Date: 08 Jul 2014 13:14 Title: Immersion
Darn you kes. You make something like a nervous date feel exactly like that, a nervous date, but you also manage to fit in loads of little science fiction tidbits that colour the scene that lifts it to another level. These include references to the vocal range of the singer to the feel of a wider universe populated by more than humans addign a different feel and colour to even human locations. Apart from the sci-fi there's a ton of neat Trek bits peppered throughout to make this feel very Trekian too. Some of which provides terrific quotes such as:
“Bloodwine, sex and battle,” John explained. “Only cruder.” He shrugged theatrically. “You know. It’s Klingon.”
Klingon Opera meets Klingon Rave. Seems weird at first but actually, I rather imagine it's the very thing that would happen. PS Loved the band's name and the sense of universe building by mere mention of how it did in the charts etc. Additionally, there's all the in-universe bits to get excited about here too. Among them, the fact that Maren is oblivious to things like music charts.
We get a lot about Maren here, a given given it's her POV but still how telling is it that she is making a stand for some former drone she knows nothing about? It goes to explain some how this sheltered and naive girl ends up for falling for someone who as something should frighten and repel her. But she sees in the plight of this nameless faceless drone the fact there's a real person behind it all, who perhaps has a family of his own.
But apart from all the insights into Maren and the introductions of a few characters who we learn really are A-holes by their later behaviour, is the insight into JQ. Firstly, we see through Maren's (JQ-is-easy-on-them) eyes just how he manages to be such a womaniser. But we also see that his approach to Maren seems less 'goal' orientated in terms of trying to simply score. He's patient with her, we see how protective he is at the entrance of the club sizing it up for threats before he leads her inwards, he is rather chaste at her door too.
Most telling though is his sudden anger and the barely contained thinly veilled anger it is. It shows where John was at in the beginning. Just how hot-headed he really was. Yes, it can be argued he's hot-headed still but not as here, not in that fiery rage mood. Very little seems to set him off here. Obviously, there's parallels to his upbringing and men around his mother type stuff going on but he had no real invested concern about Rachel. However, it's protector mode personified. If it had been Maren, one wonders - nay doubts - if he would have kept that anger in check. And again, telling is the fact that Maren pegs him for command. Again, it is other people seeing the potential in JQ before he can. He sees himself in the role of strong arm and muscle, little realising just how much more than that he can be.
Date: 05 Jul 2014 21:57 Title: Insult to Injury
Oh, poor JQ. When you got it bad for a girl, you got it bad. Totally understand his feelings here and I loved the interplay between him and Aaron. The roommates are quite good together (and the parallel between Maren and Rachel was nice, too). The description of the view was just beauitful, but poor Maren: she had a rough day of it.
Respect to JQ for not pouncing on the opportunity to do what he wanted, but rather being the friend she needed. As much as it'll pain him down the line, he's got his role figured out even now and performs it well. Looking forwad to how Maren inevitably ends up going into engineering and giving birth to one of the universes smartest duos with Icheb.
Date: 02 Jul 2014 10:47 Title: Insult to Injury
This would all be pretty tragic except for the fact that we know that she'll succeed and turn into one of Starfleet's finest engineers. And all the signs that that is her true destiny are there, she just hasn't realized yet.
I do like Jiri. She's hot and evil. What a combo.
Date: 05 Feb 2014 11:40 Title: Immersion
Well, that was an eventful night out and a real chance for Maren to come out of her shell a bit and be social for a change. Her chemistry with John is already undeniable and of course he's more than happy to help it along. Maren's journey is real fascinating stuff and all seems to be set in motion for one epic love triangle.
Date: 04 Feb 2014 15:27 Title: Immersion
Oh, poor Maren. I totally understand her self awareness and the running commentary. I get that way a lot of times when I'm in a social situation I'm unused to. I liked the way you integrated that in here while showing what was going on. We get a peek into JQs own demons, briefly, when he goes all dark like and Atherton shows himself to be a true Ahole, though one that has a semi-legitmate reason to be that way against the former Borg.
An enjoyable chapter to read, though one filled with future heartache for poor JQ who missed an opportunity (something I'm used to as well) and will regret that for some years. Well done.
Date: 16 Jan 2014 19:16 Title: Hard Reset
Get our shit done. Hee, hee, JQ you have a way with words for sure. Maren gets owned. Bad day gets badder. But this is the challenge to her on a personal level and you can imagine it plays out with other classmates too in other ways. They come from their lives and have had it easy but Academy life truly challenges them. JQ given his own hardships and real life struggles can take the knocks easier than Maren of course who has had such a sheltered life. Dreaming about escaping to the stars though all her perfect care free life she even imagined she'd be the one doing the flying. There's something telling about that belief that's almost delusional - especially given her gifts and where she excels.
Meantime, we get early insight into JQs tactical mind and of course his cut to the point approach is reflected in his flying style too. BUt he also recognises that they face the obstacle of trying to compete and compare with non-humans. Not in any kind of racial/species slur but simply as a tactical assessment of the situation.
Then we have Icheb. He knows everything already. His experience completely contrasts with the experiences of the other two. (I'm with him in the whole why the life story thing from the lecturer)A fascinating insight and one I am glad to see you tackled. I rather imagined it would not serve the challenges and highs he ever expected (worse still given his near hero worship of Starfleet from Voyager times). But yes, despite that, he lots to learn and lots he can benefit from by virtue of being at the Academy. Any other life, would not compute.
Lots of humour, warmth and developing characteristics that serve to define these characters later. Yet they have not been simply transplanted, we see real fresh, raw cadets, growing persons, not quite reaching or even knowing their potential.
Date: 16 Jan 2014 18:26 Title: Reveille
I like this oh os much. I have also read this before and I have reviewed or raved about it elsewhere even if you want to say otherwise and all of that. Simply put, you are wrong. Moving on to an actual review:
Love the Academy slice of life. I love just how daunting an experience it is. And no matter the time frame, finding yourself in college, in the big pond and being a small fish is just so overwhelming and there's no denying Maren is very much a small fish at this stage. For Icheb, it is slightly the other way in that he is a big fish in terms of notoriety by virtue of his nature. How funny, sweet and cosmically fated that he spies Maren and of all cadets takes a closer look at her. I know it is their minds and personalities that end up attracting one another but here we kinda got a little hint that maybe Icheb was drawn by the eye too? Hmmm?
And I've commented already on JQ and Maren's meeting and how much I loved that. I love the fitting of it into this day and quite frankly it really sums up the bad day she had. Such a shame for JQ that the bad day stuff gets in the way of his making an impression on Maren. Later it will be Icheb and all of that. Seems the guy was destined to be kicked into the friendship zone. How sorry. Honestly, you can see the potential with the two of them here. Though in fairness, the relationship that ends up developing with Icheb is more fascinating and different and the M/JQ might have been more pedestrian as a relationship. But still.
Date: 10 Oct 2013 12:25 Title: Hard Reset
The telepathic, sexy teacher was a classic. New cadets should really get a warning about this in their induction material.
I enjoy seeing these characters, especially John and Maren in their young, raw and experienced iterations. We get a chance to see what kind of people they have grown into. And some have grown more than others.
Date: 08 Oct 2013 18:32 Title: Hard Reset
LOVE IT. This was completely worth the wait. Icheb knowing all there is to know, already, was expected and you captured his utter bordeom (and minor annoyance at it all) quite well. Maren prepping herself for the classes ahead is a moment I'm sure all of us have. Unfortunately for her, she just wasn't cut out for the flying.
JQ and the instructor was absolutely made of win. That made me laugh aloud. He shoudn't be ashamed but him and telepaths ... this was a fun chapter. Next one looks even more fun. Well done, look forward to more, and get ready to party up!
Date: 08 Oct 2013 18:15 Title: Hard Reset
Ok, first off forgive me, im reviewing while eating lasgana. It's difficult. Two, that was awesome. I. Am. Jealous. Your ability to make things interesting in boring classes amazes me, I mean, I wish I could do that... But, alas...
Third, every time you mention Carmichael Hall I get this little smile. And a pang of guilt. I guess it's time to get off my ass. I can't concede Academy life to you! So, game on, girl. Bring it!
Still, I loved it. I could picture it vividly in my mind and still think Maren should be with JQ as opposed to that walking tin can. But hey... Whatcha gonna do.
Bottom line: Give. Me. More!
Date: 13 Aug 2013 08:15 Title: Reveille
Awww! Cadet Quigley ad Cadet Maren together are so cute! :)
Seriously, though, a great intro to the Academy for our plebes, with some rough introductions for Icheb, some humiliating encounters for Maren and - wouldn't you know it - some apparently easygoing beginnings for John. I loved the way you advanced all three of the characters through their encounters with one another, moving us from Icheb seeing Maren getting chewed out by her group leader to Maren bumping in to John in the replimat. You nailed the atmosphere and the eat or be eaten life of a first year cadet.
A great chapter, can't wait for more!
Date: 08 Jun 2013 08:03 Title: Reveille
Starfleet Academy sure ain't a breeze as Maren O'Conner is finding out the hard way. At least she made a friend thanks to an awkward encounter to remember.
It's going to be very interesting to find out more about the beginning of this three way friendship which will offer quite a few complications for these guys in their later years.
Date: 06 Jun 2013 09:51 Title: Reveille
Icheb vs. Atherton! Already I want to punch Atherton in the face. The kid is a legacy brat, a big one, and has his own issues to deal with (losing his mother sucks, of course, and I’m sure it sucked for him) but taking it out on an innocent guy (who, if Atherton was really more than just looking for someone to hate on would realize that Icheb was nowhere near Wolf 359) is just not cool.
So, Atherton, I’m lining you up for a beatdown in the near future. Whomever decides to do it will get a cookie (JQ, you know you want that cookie).
We get to see here that Icheb first catches a glimpse of Maren, who is getting dropped for twenty because some Vulcan decided to snitch on her because she dropped out step. All right, fine, it was a legitimate gripe, technically speaking, but it was unnecessary. I love the way Maren beats the Vulcan chick though … the way you described the race, the way she’s aware of only the immediate threat (rather than everyone) is perfect. You felt like you were in her shoes (pardon the pun).
Maren getting some pats on the back, the accolades, was great to see but the Vulcan being the sore loser and getting the last word in was just a perfect way to end that scene.
And then we have JQ. Great to see this scene in context finally and, just as before, you clearly see JQ falling over himself for this girl. We feel your pain later JQ. We feel bad for you.
But Team I/M is about to see the liftoff point. We’re excited. :)
Date: 05 Jun 2013 13:15 Title: Reveille
The atmosphere here is really excellent; the scenery just sort of flows into the mind like prose. I absolutely adore how you characterize all of them, too; I like that the Vulcan was at least not disrespectful to Icheb. That Icheb immediately took to Maren. That Maren smoked that race hardcore. That she and JQ met up and clicked that way. --JQ so obviously has a crush already!
The little details make it. I never got much of a chance to really explore the San Fran campus, but I can't honestly picture it any way better than you've got it here. Brilliant.
Date: 04 Jun 2013 16:51 Title: Reveille
Ah, and so it begins.
The pushups in particular, felt very real and true, the whole idea of being called out quickly and so thoroughly yelled at in front of everyone.
Some of the instructor bits that Maren recalled are a little like first year Law School. If they need to stand in order to recite their homework, then it'll have even more of a Law School feel to it (for the record, case recitation stinks, BTW).
Date: 30 May 2013 21:05 Title: Moving Day
That was refreshingly sweet - just the right amount of nervousness and bravado for each of them.
John strikes me as the extrovert of the group - one who can easily make friends and talk to others. Remarkable in a way for a guy who's come from a neglectful background. On the other hand it was probably a defense mechanism while growing up - either reach out and be part of something or be dragged down into the morass that was his family life.
Poor Icheb - it's proving a struggle already and he hasn't even made it to his dorm yet. The difficulties he is facing remind me so much of my favorite character - Spock. Not really at home anywhere and hoping that Starfleet will provide him with the sense of belonging he seeks.
But I must admit, it was Maren's bit that made me grin from ear to ear - waiting patiently to be noticed by the girls handing out room assignments who were more interested in flirting with the plebe guys. Noticing that the Vulcan was doing his job with an air of detached indifference, despite girls fawning over him. This bit of confidence was quickly overshadowed by nervousness as she found her assigned room full of a lot more people than just her new roommate.
How quickly she falls back on the comfortable, and familiar - worrying about the door; knowing it's only a matter of time before it breaks. Unpacking all her tools from home - something familiar and reassuring since she left her family behind? And offering to fix the door that the others seemed not to realize would break if propped open too long.
It seems like so far, J.Q. is the only one who's gotten off to a smooth start.
I love these three already. :D
Date: 30 May 2013 20:27 Title: August
Wow! This is a great introduction to these three, especially for me since I come to this as somewhat of a novice where these three are concerned.
Poor Icheb - never at home anywhere, never truly accepted or loved, even by his own parents. I love how members of the Voyager crew seem to have adopted him as one of their own, and are genuinely sharing in his joy at finally finding his place in the galaxy. Too bad the Academy will also prove to be a difficult road to travel.
Poor J.Q. - I had no idea that his home life was so bad. No wonder he can't wait to be away from all of that; on a fresh, new path fraught with possibilities. It seems he has had to be in charge and fairly independent for most of his formative years - couldn't count on Mommy Dearest for help in that department. That makes it all the more poignant that at this moment he is doubting himself - Is this the right move? Can he handle things academically? Something tells me he's a much stronger person than he gives himself credit for.
And Maren - leaving a warm, loving, close-knit family. It's gotta be harder for her than she is letting on, but the siren call of space and all it has to offer one so intellectually gifted can't be denied.
It's no wonder these three become such fast friends: J.Q. and Icheb share some of the same issues, whether they realize it or not, and I find it hard to believe that even though she is following her dreams, that Maren can walk away from her family without a backward glance. There's gonna be a void there that needs to be filled, and it seems J.Q. and Icheb will step up to that challenge - each in his own way, of course.
This makes me hungry to know more about the trio - to understand the tentative beginnings to the friendship and love that will sustain each of them in later years.
Date: 30 May 2013 20:13 Title: Moving Day
Damn, I want more Seven and Icheb scenes and interaction. Just something tragic and poignany about that relationship when you write them. Something very real. And alas he could do with Seven's support how very maternal of her to want to offer it to him. And how very him to turn it down. (Two drones walking around would not exactly have gone down well anyway)
The looks and whispered comments are to be expected but that doesn't excuse it and it but begins to point out the troubles and grief Icheb is going to face. It is going to be a long road and journey through the Academy for him.
Date: 30 May 2013 20:10 Title: Moving Day
Maren's first day is different to JQs. He finds a perfect room mate but Maren has perhaps the polar opposite to herself. Rach is 'popular' and seems to not quite appreciate the proper function of things. Propping the door open with the suitcase is endemic of that and goes to show how it runs completely counter to her own way of thinking. Maren's about order and function in many ways. Things work and things break and things that break can be fixed.
It's a rather positive outlook on life. sums her up in many ways. Also means she's going to stick things out, work at fixing the problem and not bailing out but of course not bailing out can mean getting hurt more in the long run too.
And of course, we see the rather prude or sheltered Maren here. Just what kind of life has she led up until now? Absorbed in mechanics and theories and her family boys probably did not feature highly on her radar. Yet she can sense and see it in others about her in the Academy so she's not some oddity. But I dare say the probability of it happening to her, of falling for a boy in the Academy has probably never entered into her equation of the parameters of the experience.
Date: 30 May 2013 20:04 Title: Moving Day
Loving JQ's first day. After the previous chapter and the previous chapter of his life for he seems already to have closed it and moved on. The Academy is a place of new chances and starts. He's got the universe waiting for him. He's going to enjoy this to the full. A life of no real responsibilities of not looking after other people's shit. Music. Fun. Ladies.
Cue the carefree, skirt chasing JQ. Ok, he was already probably a lot of those things but I think he's now at the Academy and yeah this is his chance to just have and enjoy his own life.
Loved the split scene set up by the way. Nicely done. And of course the little nod to Carmichael Hall - that a funngunner call out?