Reviews For The Long Road
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Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 25 Jun 2021 20:55 Title: House Call

Ah... the good old pronoun game.

A very interesting unnamed interloper. 400 odd years is a long time to gather regrets. And hone survival skills. 

The story of all these mysterious references is probably told elsewhere - here we jsut have another snapshot of a man with regrets. And at least a little sense.

Thanks!! rbs



Author's Response:

Yes, this and the rest of the stories in this compendium contain spoilers for my Gibraltar series. Thank you for the great feedback!

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 25 Jun 2021 02:16 Title: Death Valley

So, another author - I didn't notice at first that this thread has multiple authors.

Unexpected reverse angle on the gem'hadar - first I've seen any story told from their POV. 

And a surprise relent from Lar'ragos on Plax at the end. 

Thanks!! rbs



Author's Response:

Both the author (DarKush) and I appreciate the feedback!

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 23 Jun 2021 20:21 Title: Klingon Afternoon - Redux

Well that was a superb little chapter with two excellent conversations - both satisfying and character-revealing as well as more than a little philosophical. 

Also very interesting to see the el aurian skills developed in this way. Malcolm McDowell taught us that el aurians definitely have a dark side and can be very effective in exercising it. Nice extrapolation!

Thanks!! rbs

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 22 Jun 2021 18:37 Title: A Fine Klingon Morning

Another in a long series of desparate moments for Lar'ragos. In this case the judgement of his commanding officer seems seriously impaired. A good decision on his part. 

Interesting flitting through Lar'ragos' career one disaster after another..

Thanks!! rbs



Author's Response:

That would be an accurate assessment of Pava's Starfleet career! :D

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 21 Jun 2021 19:05 Title: The Last Man

First time I've encountered a trilaterally symmectric lifeform in Trek fanfic - presents some interesting possibilities. Some of the earliest macroscopic lifeforms on Earth exhibited spiral trilateral symmatry. Interested to get a closer look at how an imaginary intelligent one might function.

I recall the tzenkethi from fanfiction - I suppose they were introduced in the cartoon. It's only now possible to put such a creature on the screen in any convincing way.

Good cinematic action sequence - especially saving the flag.

Thanks!! rbs



Author's Response:

The Tzenkethi were mentioned in DS9, but never seen onscreen. The other United Trek writers and I settled on them being big felinoids, though script notes from DS9 later indicated the writers' pictured them as reptilian. The Edosians have been seen canonically twice, both in animated Trek, TAS and Lower Decks: https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Edosian

Thanks for the kind words!

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 21 Jun 2021 01:37 Title: Collateral Costs

The Delta Quadrant is a bit of a rough place. I seem to recall the hirogen starting out as giants, but ending up human size in another episode - probalby because it was just too much trouble to keep them giant sized for production. 

Relentless merciless hunters and professional prey - there was an episode of DS9 that featured something similar coming from the Gamma Quadrant. Stargate Atlantis also played this theme with Ronan being one of the runners. 

So Lar'ragos has to be a bit of a badass for the hirogen to use him that way...

Thanks! rbs



Author's Response:

Lar'ragos has a gift for attracting bad situations, but as this tale demonstrates, he rationalizes it through his belief that he's deserving of it.

Thanks for the feedback!

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 18 Jun 2021 14:10 Title: Conscience of the King

Interesting storytelling - really jumping through the life and decisions of Lar'ragos. I'm enjoying the details culled from STV - the trabe, the kazon.

Thanks!! rbs



Author's Response:

I'm happy you're enjoying the tale. Yes, Lar'ragos has a long journey from the Delta Quadrant to the Alpha, filled with many obstacles and foes. He's one of the main characters in my Gibraltar series.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 17 Jun 2021 15:06 Title: Stains of Conscience

Good old videans... Kind of like the wraith in Stargate Atlantis (they're not evil - they're just hungry...) Now I have an idea of where this story is starting.

Evil is relative, easily rationalized, and ultimately banal. The video recording reminds me of the meticulous lists the Nazis kept of their victims and what was done to them.

Sounds like Delta Quadrant fun as it was introduced to us by ST Voyager.

Thanks!! rbs



Author's Response:

Yes, the Vidiians are an interesting society, and one that served a purpose that benefitted the Hekosian Empire from time to time. How better to terrify your enemies than to present them with this possible fate if they don't yield.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 16 Jun 2021 15:16 Title: Sand Scoured Souls

Interesting running start. Evidently not in the UFP - pretty hard-nosed for an el aurian...

Wondering just how far away from the Alpha quadrant this action is taking place. Definitely has a feeling of a desert story.

Thanks!! rbs



Author's Response:

This is deep in the Delta Quadrant, following El Auria's destruction at the hands of the Borg. Pava will eventually find his way into Starfleet service, some hundreds of years hence. As you can tell from this story, he'll be bringing a lot of old baggage with him into that career.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 15 Jun 2021 14:42 Title: The First Day

It looks like this story has been around for awhile - but not recently updated.

Interesting start - is this the start - or is this an episode in a longer epic?

 

Thanks! rbs



Author's Response:

These are short stories detailing the long history of one of my series protagonists. To see who he's become by the 24th century, you might want to try Embers of the Fire, my initial USS Gibraltar story.

Reviewer: trekfan Signed [Report This]
Date: 25 May 2013 07:56 Title: The First Day

Poet! Pava! Damn, the instructor left no room for any sort of defense Pava could offer. He baited him, owned him, and then told him he might have a shot at becoming the badass we all know he will. You painted this scene very well, the atmosphere leaping off the page, and the back and forth between the troops and the instructor was very believable.

I'll have to reread this and leave all the reviews I neglected to leave before. Forgive me!

But don't kill me yet. Wait till I'm done with the story :)



Author's Response:

No worries, TF, better late than never! :D Thanks for the review!

Reviewer: kes7 Signed [Report This]
Date: 25 May 2013 07:54 Title: The First Day

God, I hate the Borg.  Poor Pava.  This sergeant major knows exactly what buttons to push.  Which, of course, is his job, but it doesn't make me wince any less for this poor man who lost his whole world.



Author's Response:

Yeah, it's one of the first steps to the hardening of Pava's heart, which as we know will continue to haunt him for centuries to come.

Thanks for the review!

Reviewer: Lil black dog Signed [Report This]
Date: 13 Apr 2013 02:15 Title: Stains of Conscience

Wow!  That was a thought-provoking chapter.  It seems that throughout history military men have been faced with the dilemma of sacrificing some civilians to save countless others, both soldiers and civilians.  As unpleasant as it is - as Nellit, who serves as the moral compass in this vignette pointed out - sometimes that's the choice military leaders are faced with making.  A hard choice for Pava, and one it's easy for those removed from the situation to disagree with, but cut and dried for the subahdar, who feels his first responsibility is to the men under his immediate command, the 507th at large, and to the Hekosian Empire.  Doing evil to serve the greater good - it's an interesting concept...



Author's Response:

It is indeed an intersting subject, but it seems even Pava may not be entirely comfortable with the ethical gymnastics necessary to justify this act.

Thanks for commenting!

Reviewer: Lil black dog Signed [Report This]
Date: 13 Apr 2013 00:27 Title: The First Day

Response to the Miranda Fave/Lil black dog read and review challenge

Hi Gibraltar.  I promised to read some of your work a few years ago, but never got around to it. Thanks to MF for pointing me in the direction of this piece.  Don't know anything about El-Aurians or specific details for the series outside of TOS, but I'm already intrigued by this - it starts off with a young man with something to prove; hints at his background are given, and I already want to know more.  Something tells me I'm gonna like this Lar'ragos fellow.



Author's Response:

I certainly hope you'll check out some of his other adventures.

Thanks for the feedback, it's greatly appreciated.

Reviewer: TheLoneRedshirt Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 10 Apr 2011 19:44 Title: House Call

Regarding "House Call."

How the hell did I miss this?!?

Great little story with Pava and the Doctor. Took me a bit to figure it out, but nicely done. I really enjoy all your vignettes.

Author's Response:

I'm glad you ran across it, TLR!  Thank you for the review.  I thought it was a nice shout out to the 9th Doctor and their mutual 'friend' who still lurks out there... somewhere. 

Reviewer: Miranda Fave Signed [Report This]
Date: 30 Jul 2010 21:34 Title: Klingon Afternoon - Redux

Well I know you have just floored everyone with that revelation at the end. I knew from the original there was an untold story and that the Klingon in question just begged for expansion. You say that you planned on revealing it down the line - To me the reveal is perfect in this story though.


The dynamic between the two is great. The Klingon has indeed learned from his master and father but has learned a whole lot more too. This itself has to gall Pava. The Klingon son was very adept at reading Pava and not allowing himself to be riled. The fact that he also uses Pava's interpretation of 'listening' is also frightening.


In fact that aspect of it the first round and again here is the most chilling and brilliantly written. Pava using his listening skills to despatch his enemies making him a brutal and savage killer though an efficient and tough one too. Add in the taking of kill trophies and Pava relishing in allowing himself to be let off the leash, to go hunting. Something very palpable and dangerous about how that is all conveyed.


So many points to raise really but as always, as brutal and sadistic as Pava always comes across he always comes across as extremely complex, possibly conflicted, and it makes for a far more compelling and frightening character.



Author's Response:

Many thanks. :-) This particular story took a couple of re-writes for me to be fully happy with it, first with the addition of the second chapter and then with the final re-write.  I think it finally strikes the right notes, asks some pertinent questions, and delves into some interesting territory, both personal and professional for the character.

Reviewer: unusualsuspex Anonymous [Report This]
Date: 09 Dec 2009 07:01 Title: The First Day

Hmmmmmmmm! Read this on Gib's recommendation for a SpecOps story, and as I'm so far only part way through EMBERS, Pava's character switch is a WHOA moment for me.

What's happened to make him so angry I wonder? He's obviously a skilled and tenacious combat officer even going by the pieces I've already read of him, but there's a darkness there I really want to find out more about.

As an El-Aurian, it's nice to see that he's not a carbon copy of Guinan's mystical persona (though even she had her moments I guess!) and so I read on while my own characters start to gather dust!

You're doing this on purpose aren't you?

Author's Response:

You've figured out my evil plan! ;-)  Much more of his background is revealed futher along in Embers of the Fire and in Geometries of Chance.  Let's just say a person can accumulate a lot of personal baggage in 400 years.

Reviewer: CeJay Signed [Report This]
Date: 16 Nov 2009 20:41 Title: Best Served Cold

Was doing some research on my own Pava story and came across this little tale which I must have missed the first time around.

Great stuff. I love it when the Federation, through the SMT's and the most dangerous El Aurian this side of the Milky Way, takes its gloves off to deal out some very effective punishment against its enemies.

Very well done.

Author's Response:

Yeah, this is definitely not your father's Federation anymore.  Especially with President Satie's more hands-off approach to foreign relations, there's now a heavier reliance on Special Operations missions when the Federation wants to get a point across or stop an enemy cold in their tracks.

Thanks for the review!

Reviewer: Miranda Fave Signed [Report This]
Date: 18 Oct 2009 21:00 Title: Conscience of the King

An ominous note ending with Lar'ragos' first military career. He is going to other places. I like that he found his conscience here when it came to bombing children. There's a degree to which a character can be redeemed. Mind with the character of Pava and your writing skill I dare say you could/may yet do it and even pull it off.


Now I imagine that escaping the Hekosian army is going to come with a certain payback and trouble. I wonder how exactly Pava might deal with that?


Touching that he almost wanted to embrace his death squad to account for his sins and to meet his family again.



Author's Response:

Thanks!  Yes, there was a part of Lar'ragos who was willing to 'cash in' at that very moment and spare himself an especially long lifetime of guilt and bad memories.

Reviewer: Miranda Fave Signed [Report This]
Date: 18 Oct 2009 20:47 Title: Stains of Conscience

Well Pava is on the road to ruin when he starts using  mathematics to justify his crimes. Nellit has hit the nail on the head and this ought to be a moment of awakening for Pava. Alas, I don't think Pava contrary to his people's famed skills is listening.

 

By the way, I ought to mention that what I love about this story so far is the fact the main action is helping outside of the Alpha Quadrant and we get to explore some lesser known parts of the Galaxy, including this insight into the Vidiians and exploring the depths of their particular breed of henious crimes. And atop of that Pava is happy to be complicit even with all of his justifications he has to know deep down that he is in the wrong.



Author's Response:

I'm glad you think so.  Setting these tales in the Delta Quadrant was quite a bit of fun, and using some background species we'd seen on Voyager helped to add some additional flavor to the tales.

Reviewer: Miranda Fave Signed [Report This]
Date: 17 Oct 2009 20:41 Title: Sand Scoured Souls

We see the war machine that has been carved out of Pava's anger. The man himself is not won over by the mantra of 'For Honour ... For Empire' but instead knows himself that his fighting is less noble and he demonstrates a certain relish in his task looking for a pop at the main guy. Not quite a monster as yet but certain a force to be reckoned with and a mean bastard. I like that he is not a horrible bloodthirsty figure nor an outright sinner with a blackened soul too soon. That just as his path to redemption is a gradual ongoing task in the 'present' so his downward spiral to infamy is built up.



Author's Response:

Thank you for the review.  : )  Yes, at this point in the Korsian Wars Pava has become a hardened soldier and commando, and is growing increasingly indifferent to the suffering of his enemies.  Unfortunately, the worst is yet to come.

Reviewer: Miranda Fave Signed [Report This]
Date: 17 Oct 2009 20:12 Title: The First Day

Poet. Damn, the sergeant major really knew how to pick his words. Damning Pava and his people as cowards and almost complicit in their own demise because of their lifestyle and philosophies.


With Guinan as our canon guide to the El Aurian people one might expect an author to create a character equally sage and passive. But we did manage to see fire and steel in Guinan too [I think in particular in confronting Q] and from this you weaved Pava. So whilst it is not hard to imagine someone from Guinan's race becoming angry and embittered, we saw it with Soran in Generations after all, the nth degree to which Pava by all accounts has taken his anger to is chilling.


What makes him compelling as a character is his inner conflict and turmoil over the past deeds and the path of death, carnage and bloodshed he carved. So it is quite a thrilling prospect to read the tale of this path, this history that haunts him as much as in the opening here the death of his family and fall of his world haunts him and sends him to seek a measure of payback, an exactment of revenge.


What exactly his motivations are for enrolling in the Hekosian Royal Army are remain unsaid. We draw our won conclusions. And I suppose with Pava there are certain dark parts of his soul menaing we might not be fully let into his thought process as to what he hoped to achieve by signing up. I guess the chance to hurt others is part of it. To hone his fighting skills - and in part sadly, we know he will learn and hone his skills all too well.


This is an intriguing start. You didn't go more an emotive opener that pushed the cause of Pava seeking this dark path. Instead, Pava is being pushed and almost bullied and certainly provoked by the sergeant major. Riling his temper is something we know we don't want to do. It promises to be an interesting and probably a dark and morally ambigious tale - all so very Pava - everyone's favourite blunt [and not so blunt] instrument.



Author's Response:

Actually, Pava does explain his motivations to Ramirez in Embers of the Fire in the scene after the away team's escape from the Glanisuur refugee camp.  That's one of the reasons I decided not to re-hash his decision making process in The First Day.  And yes, once he arrives at Hekosian basic training, the damage to his psyche has been done and he's already made the choice to sign up and let the winds of fortune send him where they may.

Thank you for a very thougthful review and introspective feedback on this story.  I'm glad to know it struck a chord with you. : )

Reviewer: kes7 Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 07 Sep 2009 02:19 Title: Collateral Costs

Damn, Gibraltar .... just damn.  Pava is one compelling character.  I don't know whether I want to hug him or run away screaming.  And I suspect that's exactly how you mean to write him, so ... well done.

 



Author's Response:

Yeah, he's definitely a bit of Column A and a bit of Column B.  Thanks for the review.

Reviewer: PSGarak Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 06 Aug 2009 23:45 Title: The First Day

War is hell, and it makes for hellish bedfellows. Excellent long-term study of the evolution of a warrior to something beyond prey or predator. I found myself liking this character, sometimes despite myself.

Author's Response:

Thanks!  Pava's a work-in-progress, changing as he strives to make up for the sins of his past without creating too many sins of the present.  He's a man at odds with himself, hating what he's become even as he revels in his accomplishments as a soldier.

I appreciate the feedback.

Reviewer: Kraylose Signed [Report This]
Date: 02 Aug 2009 01:41 Title: The First Day

Thank you for giving us a look in Pava's past. We finally get to see how many skeletons are in his closet and the demons he carries within...Hopefully he can one day rid himself of them and find peace.

Author's Response:

One would hope, but we'll see.  Old habits die hard.  Thanks for the comments!

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