Date: 13 Dec 2013 22:03 Title: Chapter 1
Ouch, a tough decision there for Janeway. This is an interesting idea, putting Janeway in Archer's position and I enjoyed the difference in relationship between her and Phlox. It would have been interesting, though, to see Janeway come to a different solution to the problem than Archer did in Enterprise.
Still, you managed to pose a harsh moral dilemma and provide the reader with some closure to it by the end of the story, so well done!
Author's Response: CaptainSarine thank you for the feedback, Glad you enjoy the harsh moral dilemma, yes it was interesting to see how Janeway and Pholex reached the same decision as Archer and Pholex.
Date: 07 Nov 2013 05:32 Title: Chapter 1
I liked this very much, FB. This is the core of Trek for me - the moral dilemmas and how far we should go to uphold the tenets of the Prime Directive at the expense of those who suffer from our inaction.
You captured the pain of that decision beautifully. Based on what little I know of the other captains, I think Janeway was a good choice. Picard would probably have done the same thing, but much like his counterpart in ST:ID, Jim Kirk would probably have found a way to get around the PD, with strong support from McCoy and reluctant support from Spock, and would have found a way to make the decision stick.
It might be interesting to do an AU of this - with either Archer or Janeway - where the Valakians are saved and see how it influences the Menk. Since the Federation saved them, could they persuade the Valakians to treat the Menk differently, given the role the Menk had in the creation of the vaccine? This could really make for an interesting exploration of the PD, and the pros and cons inherent within.
Author's Response: Sorry for the delay in a response LBD, glad this meets with your approval, yes I think this scenario is one that test a captain moral core, how would it work if the other call was made, might be an interesting AU to come back to in the future. Thanks for all your feedback and support on this one.
Date: 02 Nov 2013 19:28 Title: Chapter 1
I've never seen this episode before, and had to look it up. I have to say, Janeway taking the role seems very...appropriate. Kirk was exploring a new galaxy, sure, but most of the planets were known already, and many aliens had also already been met. TNG and DS9 were also old hat - very little was still open to explore. Janeway and Archer both had the benefit of exploring completely new areas of the galaxy, with very little to any guidance other than their own personal moral code and the recommendations of their senior crew. So, you very easily slip Janeway into the role; we're used to seeing her make these tough decisions on her own. The thought of a senior crew member keeping information from her is also a dangerous thing to see, because we know how much tolerance she has for her staff when they do that.
I agree with Jespah...it would be very interesting to see this particular "change" to the canon explored more, to see what happens either in the aftermath of this scene, or even more of the Enterprise scenarios with her at the helm instead.
And I loved the coffee reference. "Coffee. I beat the Borg with it."
Author's Response: Cheers for reading and your feedback. Yes give Kathy coffee and enjoy the results.
Date: 01 Nov 2013 01:02 Title: Chapter 1
That episode. God, that episode.
For anyone unsure, it's Dear Doctor (http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Dear_Doctor).
A lot of people hate this episode, and there are any number of attempts in fan fiction to reverse-engineer some sort of a solution and change it so that the Valakians can live. Complicating matters is the fact that some of the sloppier professional writing indicates that the Menk are somehow 'meant' to evolve and become dominant. You rightly alter that, and clarify it to indicate that instead it's that the Valakians will essentially die out, and the Menk will naturally grasp the dominant niche. That's what happens in evolutionary vacuums.
The choice is a Solomonic one, and you don't shy away from it. I also like your choice of Janeway to step into the Archer role (and thanks for the shout out to my gal). A similarly emotional captain, it can appear as if the decision-making process is ruled by emotions, the sort of thing that T'Pol (and Tuvok, and Spock, for that matter) warns against. But that's not it at all; it's that the decision is being made as dispassionately as possible, but the emotions are overwhelming and they are going to be the aftermath that the captain has to deal with.
Much like in the original episode, there is no appeal for assistance to the authorities, which in this case would be Admiral Forrest and Ambassador Soval. However, in canon, this is before Archer became at all comfortable with Soval, so I can see him not bothering to contact the Vulcan. And I can also see him not wanting to contact Forrest and possibly put Forrest into an uncomfortable position of having to make a decision and withhold it from Soval. Hence Archer takes on the entire mantle, and it's an error, and he has to learn from that mistake (which the professional writers, unfortunately, never really showed, with the possible exception of the Cogenitor episode, http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Cogenitor_(episode)). I can see Janeway in a similar bind. It's an era where humanity has felt constricted and is trying to break free or at least free-er from the Vulcans, as their guidance is feeling like it's smothering.
With Kirk or Sisko, it's likely that they would have done what they wanted and with less agonizing. I suspect either of those captains would have made the opposite call, and then there would be a major consequence and perhaps even a power shift in the region. Picard is trickier but I imagine he would come down on the side of the canon decision but would arrive at it differently.
So I think Janeway in this role is a smart choice and it - as it really should - feels morally squishy and ... off. New explorations means that people sometimes make poor judgment calls, or they make the right ones, but for uncomfortable reasons. And hard dilemmas mean that the right choice can result in a lot of real world pain.
I'd love to see you revisit this. Well done.
Author's Response: Thank you for reading and your detailed feedback comment Jespah,