Date: 21 Aug 2014 21:11 Title: A City Called Eldman
I haven't read your Lifeguard series yet, but I find it really fascinating to get a look into the past like this. I love that we see his esper powers starting to develop in the midst of all the stress and tragedy of his life. Thank you for the look back!
Author's Response: thank you indeed for reading. This is probably the best place to start being his childhood. The Lifeguard series started off as a bit of fun but became something else...a beast really :)
Date: 28 May 2014 19:38 Title: A City Called Eldman
WOW Mac. I’ve got to say, another powerful piece you’ve got here. Gary’s rough childhood definitely shaped the man he is today. I can tell when his innocence is lost when he first loses his sister Charlotte to her jumping into the river and then losing his mother not long afterwards from heart failure. He considered these two women to be his only tether to the last of his innocence. A haunting piece that really shows that not everything in life is rosy but at least Gary got into a job helping people. I can understand his anger and grief at not being able to save his sister. Thanks for sharing this. As usual, it was fairly easy to get into the head of the character. Great job.
Author's Response: Most kind, most kind. This Gary's childhood I imagine might be like the regular one's but this one shaped what happened to come. Him ending up as a lifeguard. Not everything in Trek can be happy families and for Mitch, this was not. I did want to have his sister come back somehow but it wouldn't work :)
Date: 01 May 2014 14:19 Title: A City Called Eldman
Gary is better off without a father like that. The scars from an alcoholic parent last for life, and an abusive alcoholic is the worst. I'm glad he eventually made it into Starfleet. Too bad his life was cut short.
Just curious. I recently watched the Gary Mitchell episode and noticed "James R. Kirk" on the captain's tombstone. Do your stories address the error? I'm thinking that Jim was embarrassed by his middle name and told his friends it was Robert.
Author's Response: I don't think I've addressed the "R" business. Peter David came up with a funny one in his book "Q-Squared". Forget it exactly.
Date: 28 Apr 2014 19:19 Title: A City Called Eldman
Gary Mitchell. You've done a great job giving this character a life other than a one-off that he was in TOS and his history here, coming from an abusive home, suffering as he did, is a testament to that work. I really felt for Gary here.
Date: 25 Apr 2014 08:49 Title: A City Called Eldman
Man, what a punch to the stomach this piece is. I'm glad Gary at least had a mother and sister to love him but I'm sorry he had to watch them be hurt. Fascinating idea for a backstory. Nice job.
Author's Response: thank you most kindly, Kes. I sort of tapped into my own life experiences to write it which is why it was kind of hard for me in places even though it's in a Star Trek setting. I guess not everyone in Star Trek could have had such a decent upbringing in a nice setting.
Date: 25 Apr 2014 00:45 Title: A City Called Eldman
This was... amazingly good. I mean I don't even know what more to say. Your writing is incredible. I wish I could convey description and emotion like this.
Author's Response: You're most kind. You know, I look at other peoples writing like LBD's for example and wish I wrote like them. My writing's still evolving. I'm glad it came over well in the writing :)
Date: 20 Apr 2014 19:47 Title: A City Called Eldman
This is so true to the alternate Gary that you have created, for what better way to redeem himself from his failure to protect his mother and sister than protecting people as a livelihood? Yes, it can be argued that there are other professions where he could do just that - EMT, or firefighter, or even Starfleet officer - but would any one of them have been the right one for the circumstances that created this man in the first place? It didn't stop his determination to get to the bottom of why a Starfleet cadet flung herself from the Golden Gate Bridge (flashbacks to Charlotte, perhaps?), or to find and dispose of a shark that was killing swimmers on 'his beach.'
You've drawn a haunting figure, rife with the difficulties presented by an unhappy childhood, and yet the moral compass of the man remains intact. It would have been so easy to slip into alcoholism like his father, or turn a bitter, jaundiced eye on the population at large, determined to do nothing for a society that had done nothing for him, and yet we see a very moral, upstanding man. Granted, he has issues with commitment and letting anyone get too close, but still he is redeemable, and strangely likeable. Very, very well done, Mac.
PS Loved the little reference to his ESP abilities - one of the few things we do know about the canon Gary.
Author's Response: Most humbling. Lor' I didn't think of the Porpoise Song link with the girl in the Bay. Or the shark. I just figured that Mitchell, whatever version, would be a similar figure to Kirk albeit full on in certain aspects. I guess he needs to get to the bottom of things whatever. As for ESP, I was aiming to slip it in at some point but somehow it made sense for this particular story. My thanks again, LBD. Most appreciated in all ways.
Date: 19 Apr 2014 16:33 Title: A City Called Eldman
A powerful piece Mac. Wonderfully and effectively drawn. It unfolded in a manner that kept being not what I expected and continued to do so throughout. Mitchell really is quite a tragic figure. You painted his background here wonderfully well.
Author's Response: thank you, MF. Like most of my stories it sort of veered away from my intention but somehow a darker story was wanting. (I don't do comedy so much nowadays). I drew on my life's past for it, so it was tough to a point.
Date: 19 Apr 2014 14:56 Title: A City Called Eldman
A different Gary Mitchell than seen previously, but perhaps one that explains the others, in a way. It gave us a glimpse into how he became the person we saw. I liked the idea that he might have been able (at least somewhat) to read minds before the incident we saw in the Original Series. I have to wonder, were you planning to expand this? I'd like to read more. ;-)
Author's Response: I wasn't intending to when I wrote it but speaking to LBD about it when we were looking it over, I think something can be arranged. Trouble with my challenge entries is that often it should be a longer one. This is more in line with the Lifeguard series though I guess it works as normal Mitch. After all point of divergence would be the Academy.