Date: 16 Jul 2014 21:30 Title: Chapter 1
Wow. Seems like Scotty is having a hard time fitting in on the Enterprise. I can relate to that. You gave me as a reader a good hook-line-and-sinker here for me to sink my fanfic reading teeth into. I’ve really enjoyed reading this first chapter. The original characters are engaging and they are sticking to me like glue. It’s easy to see the struggle that Scotty is going through trying to fit in. The emotions shown in this first chapter is what drew me in. I’ve always been a sucker for a good Scotty story. I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read so far and now I’m on to read chapter 2. Thanks for a wonderful opening to a really good fic. I look forward to seeing how everything comes together in the end.
Date: 14 Jul 2014 22:21 Title: Chapter 5
First let me say that this was a fantastic read, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and a look into Scott's personality that I hadn't considered before.
I like that he is still flustered around Senior officers--I've always sort of seen Scott as an Introvert--not necessarily shy, but finding dealing with people a bit of a chore at times.
And I like that the 'wasting talent' line flew right over his head.
I'm glad they found a solution that is win-win for everyone, and that he seems happier, calmer, and more stable. Maybe he's finally found a solution he can live with, and allow his inherent brilliance to shine through.
Date: 14 Jul 2014 22:12 Title: Chapter 4
Ah, so that's what it is--he's either showing the first signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or fighting tooth and nail not to allow the trauma he has experienced to turn into that. It's a hard position to be in, to be constantly reliving the nightmare. I am glad she went searching for the problem, and found it, and also glad that she went to the other senior officers on the ship, both for their backup and to be sure she hadn't missed anything in her solution.
Her solution was a sound one. If she had simply taken away his attempts to control the work the Engineering department was doing, without giving him something to replace it, he might have thought she didn't have confidence in his ability as a leader, and it might also have hampered his healing.
It reads as very believable to me that he would seek out the quiet places on the ship--the places where he could be alone, and I liked that she went to find him there instead of calling him to come to her.
Date: 14 Jul 2014 21:28 Title: Chapter 3
I'm really liking Pike here--the easy relationship he has with the crew when he allows himself to put his guard down, but no one being willing to push that too far, either. We didn't get to know Pike all that well in the Original Series, and I think that's a shame. I like how he handles the freebooters, and makes them back down.
I also like the exchange between Boyce and Cait in sickbay. Indeed, it is awfully easy to think the outsiders coming in are the problem, but sometimes the issue is that those who are already insiders get complacent, and assume that those who come in need to find a way to fit.
That position can be damaging to both sides, because it allows for resentment to fester over someone being who they are, and also over someone coming in and doing better work or working harder. In addition, it sends the message to the other person that being who they are isn't acceptable. And usually, it is the most creative people who don't fit, because they tend to approach the world differently.
I keep finding myself going back to the still, and I think that's because Scott made an honest effort to fit in to the ship, and when he was slapped down, he did what he was supposed to do because he cared about his job and didn't want to be the cause of endangering the ship on one hand while fighting to keep it safe on the other.
I'm glad Cait is self aware enough to realize that she might have helped create the problem, and also to be willing to fix it, if she can.
Date: 14 Jul 2014 20:34 Title: Chapter 2
I found it a bit humorous that the medic was following Cait around, trying to fix her arm. Reminds me of some other officers I know ;-). I like that she was conscious of the choice she was making in letting Scott go, but still making the choice because it was what was best for the ship at the moment.
Boyce seems to have a pretty good insight into what makes Scotty tick, and I love that he realizes that helping Scott get over his fear of medical personnel is every bit as much a treatment as healing his physical injuries, and just as important. If there was a problem for Scott with doctors as a child, I have to think the two full board reviews would have made it worse. TOS paid far too little attention to the psychological issues that affected the crew, and I am glad to see that remedied here.
Date: 14 Jul 2014 19:57 Title: Chapter 1
I started reading your Arc of the Wolf series sometime last year, and really enjoyed the stories I read, but then life intervened and I had to stop. And because I am me, and have some major concentration issues, I tend to bounce around between stories, even in the same arc.
This story answered many questions I had had while reading some of the other stories (I think I accidentally skipped around a bit).
I identify with Scott in so many ways here--the methodical precision and thoroughness with which he does his job, that almost obsessive quality about him that says if it isn't perfect it isn't good enough, the truthfulness in his character that won't allow him to lie when asked a direct question, and the social isolation and resentment that comes as a result of the rest of it.
I also identify with Cait, having seen this so many times in classrooms or among colleagues, and having no idea what to do in either case. You've written it here with such skill that it brings a depth to the story, and to Scott's character, that most people don't find when writing him.
Too often, in episodes of the Original Series, one got the impression that all of the officers were confident in who they were and what they were doing, and while their lives weren't perfect, most of that was from outside influence. There were never really any serious mistakes, or personnel issues, but that's just not human.
I like the exchange between Boyce and Cait, and how he doesn't tell her what to do, but just listens and offers a comment here or there--one that might stick with her, that she might come back to when thinking things through later and making a decision about what she has to do.
It looks to me like she has three choices. She leave things as they are, and let those involved work things out on their own, which in this situation could be a bad decision because it could be deadly for the crew. She can transfer Scott, so that his influence won't be an issue anymore, which doesn't feel right on the surface because he is good at what he does, but which may end up being better for the crew as a whole, in terms of morale. Or she can transfer everyone else, and try to build a team that can work with him, which doesn't really make sense because a team is just that--a team of people, who live or die by the work of everyone, and cannot survive on the efforts of one person. It's a tough decision Cait faces, and I'll look forward to seeing where this story goes.
Date: 23 Aug 2013 01:30 Title: Chapter 1
I finally dloaded this for my kindle and read thefirst half last night and I am UTTERLY ADORING IT. I am so so sorry I haven't read it before now. But I am so glad you keep writing! I am loving your Lt Scott, and his entire backstory, and OMG PIKE. He and Number One make me SO HAPPY.
Author's Response: Thank you! It was off your prompt, even if it took me three or four years to finish it. ;)
Date: 14 Jul 2013 21:19 Title: Chapter 5
Good to see things working out, in a kind of epilogue to the rest of the piece.
I like the subtle interplay between Pike and Number One as well - a lot of people 'ship them and I think that's fine and it makes sense. Here, it's a piece of the story but is not the focus. They've got jobs to do, and they do them. But the gold nail polish is a sweet little subtlety, that there is a connection there (Number One is Science division, if I recall correctly).
Character work is great here. Scott comes across as believably damaged and insecure and not as a hard to believe super-man. He also has perhaps the slightest bit of accent but nothing more - a lot of people write him with waaaaay too many ye's and ayes and it is more than a little distracting. He's Scottish but he is understandable; he is not a poster boy for How to Sound Like You're from Edinburgh in 10 Easy Lessons.
Boyce is affable and also perceptive, something that is seen in passing in The Cage and is believably expanded upon here.
Cait is well-drawn and evokes all sorts of emotions in the reader, as she well should - there's sympathy at dealing with someone who is difficult, there's maybe some perplexity at her being unable to see the log in her own eye when confronted with the splinter in Scott's, and the curiosity that she expresses, how to make things work and also getting to the underpinnings of Scott, to try to figure out how he ticks and make the most out of his talents without having them run roughshod over the rest of her team.
It's a challenge, for us all, to write damaged characters coming around without making it overly miraculous, and to write sympathetic characters without making them Mary Sues. There is a lot of room in the middle, yet a lot of writers seem to miss that. You do not.
Well-drawn piece, believable characters and good A and B plots. Definitely recommended!
Author's Response: I definitely ship Number One and Pike, though they obviously end in tragedy. I love how they mesh, I love how they're so strong, the two of them, and they don't need to stand on the back of the other in order to achieve it. And yes, good catch on the nail polish!
Heavens to Betsy, but thank you. He's been damaged practically from birth, but never broken. And his accent varies through AotW, really -- when he's half coherent, or emotionally overwrought, or drunk, or particularly exhausted (or sometimes just in defiance), the Doric-Scots comes out in force -- he really lost it in the RR several times -- but by now, he's been living in the service and in Maine for so long that it's knocked his default accent down to what you hear in TOS canon. Notable, but blurred and blended and with various other influences.
I love Boyce. So much. I love Cait, too. She was brilliantly created by Dorothy Fontana, and lovable, and I had so much fun expanding on her here, and seeing how an engineer who is not in love with her starship and is not obsessive deals with a young man who so clearly is. I knew they couldn't have had it easy. I needed to find a way they'd be able to work together, and eventually they do.
Thanks so much for this. This one was started sometime back in '09 or '10, and only recently finished. I appreciate the feedback like whoa.
Date: 14 Jul 2013 21:08 Title: Chapter 4
This situation is being handled very well by Cait (with Phil and Chris's input, recommendations and requirements, of course). It solves a few problems rather neatly. Scotty gets some authority without having the weight of the world on his shoulders. He's not ready for command, or really cut out for it, let's face it, and that is likely why he left Command School to begin with. And then he was thrust back into it, so now he's mighty relieved to be out of it.
For Cait, it not only helps to give him a focus for his talents and energies (and he was bored being a cog in her well-oiled machine, making subversive still - and then satisfying his own code of honor by not fingering Brien or any co-conspirators when they were caught), but also eases his fear and overwhelming sense of survivor guilt and overcompensation.
It also gets the new crewmen trained and accommodated, without her being torn from her regular duties too much, as it simultaneously shakes up her current crew and, as Phil had suggested, makes it so that the ease is a bit more earned and the respect goes in more of a two-way street.
But we're not done yet. Hmmm.
Author's Response: I love that you got all of that, and all the threads that tie into it. He was booted from Command School by a perceptive admiral, but aye, he was glad to go. He doesn't want charge of a starship (though Pike eventually leans on him and he does achieve his command rating, allowing him to later be second officer of the Enterprise), but he does have the drive and skills, so best to direct it where he can handle it until he's ready to command his own department.
But after this, at least in terms of personnel issues, Scotty never has the same level of difficulty. It's not fixed entirely, and he has to earn the trust of the rest of those folks (and they have to earn his), but with the pack hierarchy in place, he can breathe. He's such a lone wolf, but those don't live long in the wild, and Cait basically putting him down by the scruff and defining his position in no uncertain terms lets him focus on improving, rather than surviving. He never does question her authority again, and over time, works his way up to third watch supervisor, then assistant chief. Excels, really, once he's not so busy trying to guard on all fronts.
Thank you, thank you. I'm so glad all that came across.
Date: 14 Jul 2013 20:32 Title: Chapter 3
Interesting choice being made here. Essentially, for Cait, the issue is that the team is comfortable and it's easy but maybe it's too easy. This reflects what Q had said to Picard, about space sometimes getting to be too easy, when it shouldn't be. It's dangerous and smelly and nasty.
In a way, the incident with the still is a microcosm for this - Scotty working on it not even necessarily because he wanted to, but because it was a way to fit in, then Brien resenting losing that comfort, then the conflict, coupled with Scotty having no other focus and, therefore, becoming a hypervigilant efficiency nut, completely circumventing Cait's authority and making everyone else uncomfortable at best and resentful and angry at worst.
Author's Response: You're a very clever reader, you know that? There was a lot more than the still behind Scotty's misbehavior there, but yes, that was the bones of it. He really did put forth an honest effort to get along, but the moment the high of the assignment and the limited social structure dissolved, he defaulted to his usual patterns. Unfortunately, those don't work here. Thank you!
Date: 14 Jul 2013 20:14 Title: Chapter 2
For Scotty, this is his opportunity to shine and show why he's still needed. And Phil's rather perceptive here, understanding that Scott was damaged by someone in Medical and it wouldn't do to perpetuate that.
Author's Response: I love Phil for it. Paternalism in doctors is still, apparently, common in that century if you look at canon, and Phil seeing the issue and doing something about it probably saved Scotty's life a few times in later years. He undoes a lot of the damage just himself, by being kind and courteous. Thanks so much!
Date: 14 Jul 2013 20:01 Title: Chapter 1
Here, Scotty is presented almost like, in sports the term is 'locker room cancer' or 'clubhouse cancer'. It's not that he's bad at things - he most certainly isn't. It's that he kills team morale. Barry Bonds was a lot like this. It's the superior player with a lot of less than stellar players, and there's resentment.
It's possible to rise above it, but most coaches and managers trade that one guy away, or they pay him to leave. Or they rebuild the team around him with a bunch of different lower level guys who will take what he dishes out. Looks like, right now, Cait is looking to do option #1.
Author's Response: I think, in the end, Cait sort of does something right between the two. But your observations are pricelessly awesome and you nailed it in succinct terms; he's good, he's driven and he's making everyone else feel damned uncomfortable. And not fairly, either. Thanks so much.