Date: 21 Jul 2014 17:48 Title: Frustration
It's an unusual way to end the tale in some ways. Often the epilogue in a trek episode or fanfiction ends with the chapter opening with a log entry. Here, however, you choose to end with a series of logs that update the reader on various progresses over the course of weeks. It's a swift neat tacit to fill in gaps and over the laborious weeks of constant repairs. It also shows how much Natale has to work on matters and present the air of the commanding officer, burying any personal feelings, weariness or grudge against Kirek, which stands to her character that she does so.
One thing you have to remember is that each chapter is originally a stand-alone short. But most of these five are under 2K words - the first alone being under 200 - and so I figured combining them into a collection would be a good way to introduce folks here to the crew.
That being said, in writing this particular piece, my go was to do precisely what you said: fill in some gaps. it was basically to serve as a summary of events leading up to the point where things were going to really start getting busy - looking at the chronology on the website, June of 2376 is a really busy month for the Sanctuary gang.
Thank you once again, Fave for giving my story(ies) a second read. I so value your input.
Date: 21 Jul 2014 17:36 Title: The First Volley
A terse first meeting for sure. Both Natale and Kirek scored points in their arguments. I don't know if either of them conducted themselves to the best of their profession but given the circumstances for both of them, I'd say they both conducted themselves as best as they could muster. In fairness, Kirek needs to work a lot more to be personable and cooperative, whereas Natale was having to react to Kirek's behaviour. But the chapter shows just how tough it will be to get the station up and working.
I think Natale and Kirek are both frustrated and angry at the position they've been forced into. Neither of them wants to be working with the other (Starfleet with Cardassians, that is), they both wish they didn't have to, and being the career military officers they are, both are begrudgingly doing the job anyway. Although she lost her cool a time or two, Natale's clearly the more level-headed of the two, but yeah... they both probably did about as well as they could under the circumstances. Well, Kirek coulda been a lot more civil... He definitely needs to work on his people skills.
Date: 21 Jul 2014 17:25 Title: Frenemies
Well in its own way, it did go well. I mean, no blood was spilled. Kirek obviously has beef with Starfleet. But, especially on reading it a second time round here, it really is only fair from his own perspective. It is a Cardassian station and Starfleet are crawling all over it. It is likely a slight to him, to Cardassia in his eyes that they should need Federation assistance. He's angry at Starfleet but I feel he may also be angry at Cardassian governments before that led their state to this position of need. The fact that we see him share a loving relationship with his daughter suggests very much that he is just an ordinary man. It is refreshing to get such inisghts from an 'enemy' point of view in a story. There are two other points to raise - the fact that here and in the previous chapter, Kirek's duagther seems to be a reassuring and calming presence - if she weren't there how might be react? and what if anything should ever happen to her? Also, neat to see that any a-hole behaviour is not limited to the Cardassians alone with Zram displaying quite a few hostile reactions.
I see Eton Kirek like this: a loving father, excellent soldier, and an angry man. We're seeing a lot more of the latter of the three because in many ways, he has every right to be angry. He's angry at the central command officers - namely Dukat, I'm sure, but also those who followed him - who got their own people into the mess they're in. He's angry that he lost a lot of friends and brothers in arms. He's angry because he believes (or rather, he wants to) that despite the fallacy by which they reached their present state of affairs, that the Cardassian people are strong and resilient, and that they are able to rebuild their society on their own. It angers him that despite this belief, it's clear that they can't. It angers him that his entire species is toeing the line between survival and extinction. He's angry at Starfleet because despite their own devastating losses, they're actually being the good guys still, holding out the helping hand he wishes Cardassia didn't need. He hates that they're better able to do what he wishes his own people could do, and I imagine he hates Starfleet simply because he's been taught to practically since birth.
As for Karejah being a calming influence, that ias true. It goes back to his being a loving father - she's his only child, and the one person in all the galaxy he loves more than his own life. He would do anything for her. She's also smart as a whip, so when she gives him advice or reminds him it's best he remain calm, he usually listens.
Date: 21 Jul 2014 17:16 Title: Sanctuary
So they arrive at Sanctuary as a name and a new possible home - certainly a new posting at least. Meantime, Sanctuary has arrived at Ad Astra. ;)
Interesting beginnings with Sanctuary as we get insight into how on the cuff much of this is happening - the surprise of the Cardassian involvement in the project is prime example of that and of course will lend to a few teething problems for sure as the challenges they face restoring the station are coupled with the challenges of one-time enemies working collaboratively towards a common goal. Makes for interesting times, no?
I'm sure glad to finally be posting some Sanctuary here!
The surprise of the Cardassians being involved was mainly due to a lapse in communication between the Federation and Cardassian governments. I'm sure that may happen again sporadically over the first few months until the right channels and people to contact are set firmly. It's sad, though - and certainly makes things tons more difficult for the crew, from both sides - for both of said governments to be invested in the project, but unable (or unwilling) to put more into it, be that through manpower or resources.
And yes indeed, former enemies working side-by-side toward the same common interest? Definitely interesting times ahead.
Thanks for re-reading again, Fave.
Date: 21 Jul 2014 01:29 Title: Frustration
Nice to get a chance to hear the captain's personal thoughts on the challenges she faces even 6 weeks into her assignment.
Personal logs are funny thing. I'm not so sure if I were so comfortable to lay bare my most inner thoughts like that. You never know who could manage to hack into those and listen in. From all we've seen I guess that's not a big concern for people in Starfleet.
I like Natale (even if she has a bit of a potty mouth) but she seems a little bit too defeatist on some subjects where I thought she was to quick to admit that she couldn't do anything about them. Of course there's little doubt she's in a tough spot. Sisko had it easy commanding a crew made up partly of Bajorans, mostly because he was a religious icon to them and Janeway had Chakotay to deal with her non Starfleet crew. No such support for Natale.
Personal logs for Starfleet officers, from what I gathered, are accessible to only a small number of people onboard any given starship or space station (unless, as you pointed out, you had the skills to hack through the security protocols). It's always been my understanding that only the captain, first officer, chief medical officer, and senior counselor could access them, and then only if it could be proved circumstances warranted doing so (like when Picard and Troi accessed Lwaxana's journals).
While I'm glad you like Natale, I have to say I disagree with your assessment that "she has a bit of a potty mouth". She only said one actual curse word and one substitute curse word. And "targ's behind" is hardly crude or filthy. She's not really being a defeatist, either. As the title of the chapter suggests, she's just venting her frustrations over all the difficulty she's been facing, both in dealing with the station and the conflicts between her crew. She knew from the beginning that things were hardly going to go smoothly, but she likely didn't realize the enormity of the challenge she was facing. Poor girl certainly got the short end of the stick.
As always, thank you so much for your input.
Date: 21 Jul 2014 01:14 Title: The First Volley
Man, I bet Natale is wishing about now she could be in Sisko's shoes some seven years earlier instead. I mean sure, Kira was a handful at first but this first officer seems to be in a class of his own.
And she's not going to be the only one to have her hands full trying to run an old Cardasian station. This chief is going to need all of his four hands to keep the place from falling apart. Good news is, he can always put in a call to Miles O'Brien or whoever is keeping DS9 running these days for some hints.
Kirek is definitely a handful for Natale, but she does eventually put him in his place. And later on, he's going to develop a deeper respect for her. There's also more going on under his surface, so to speak, than I can reveal just yet.
And yes, Grafydd definitely has his four hands full as well! For the first four or five months, he and his crew are chasing one systems malfunction after the other. As for who's running DS9 right now... I honestly think Nog got Miles' job.
Once more, thank you for reading and commenting!
Date: 21 Jul 2014 01:02 Title: Frenemies
I also enjoy here how well the various Starfleet crews are working together, to often do we see different captains and crews being rivals (I've been guilty of this too), instead of dedicated professionals all trying to accomplish the same goal. Now if only Kirek would see things this way.
Oh also appreciate the little details such as the fact that Natale's crew is mostly made up of green behind the ears ensigns, unavoidable after a war which has claimed so many lives.
In the aftermath of an extended conflict, Starfleet officers and crews can hardly afford petty rivalry. Right now they're facing the greatest loss of personnel and assets the organization has ever seen, not to mention that the Federation is likely in a recession.
Though it helped a great deal in getting along if one considers the history behind the characters: Natale and Wallace have known each other since their Academy days, and he in turn served under Regan during her brief tenure as the captain of his ship. Of course, I understand that the reader isn't going to know this right off hand - though it is revealed in a later story how long Synnove and Brian have been friends, the Wallace-Regan connection is only on my website in the Timeline article (which is located in the Information Database). It may, however, come up in a story sometime down the road, if I'm struck with the urge to throw it in somewhere.
Thanks once again for the comments!
Date: 21 Jul 2014 00:53 Title: Sanctuary
Very interesting. Starfleet taking over Empok Nor after the war makes a lot of sense and so does the Detapa Council following the Bajorans' example and assigning one of their own to be first officer. One wonders however why they would have picked such a charmer for that job, unless somebody there wants to see it fail.
Also like how you've taken DS9's premise of Starfleet taking over an abandoned station but taken it even further. Natale doesn't even have a full senior staff yet. Looks like they're really going to make due with bare bones for a while.
Eton Kirek, for all his disdain and sarcasm and poor attitude, is an excellent soldier. His problem is that he doesn't like having to work with Starfleet. Believe it or not, he's not actually being racist - he just thinks his people can rebuild their society on their own (and doesn't want to have to admit, even to himself, that they simply can't do it by themselves - at least, not yet). He's something of an elitist snob in that way.
The crew are definitely going bare bones on this project. All my research into the Nor class station said that it could be run on a minimal crew of 300, and given the staff shortage on both sides, that's all they were granted - just enough to get the place up and running.
And yes, someone is wanting to see this effort fail.
Date: 20 Jul 2014 20:54 Title: Peace Offering
Very interested in this. As you may know United Trek (me excluded) has done quite a bit on the immediate post-war period but I know from the few glimpses I had in your universe previously that you have a different spin on it. I always love to see different interpretations so I think this is going to be fun.
Thank you very much, CeJay!
Yes, given what we heard from Gibraltar (Sam Redfeather) about UT, our version was not nearly as dark as the UTverse, but had no less complications and stresses. I also very much enjoy seeing the different approaches different writers take on the same plot device.