Date: 19 Mar 2021 14:22 Title: Epilogue: 2
I particularly enjoyed the interweaving of the Sky Knight legend and especially the twist at the end. The rescue myth is so pervasive, it's quite enjoyable to have it turned on its head.
And a fitting consequence for Lam and use for West. Lots of neat wrapping in this story. The consequence of Valeria shunning the Federation in favor of the Cardassians and continued mystery of the thulians helps keep the ending from being too neat.
Nicely done - Thanks! rbs
Author's Response: Yeah, a lot gets resolved in this story at the end but I wanted to make sure that it wasn't a true happy ending. It can't be. Too many people have died. And who knows if Lam is truly going to get what he deserves in the end. Powerful men have ways to get themselves absolved from the consequences of their actions. Huge thanks for working yourself through yet another Star Eagle adventure. Reading your reviews, as always, was a lot of fun for me and allowed me to revisit some of my work yet again.
Date: 19 Mar 2021 14:07 Title: Epilogue: 1
The first of two epilogues and there are at least four epilogues here...
The bit with Gul Belore was quite fun. He's an interesting, multi-faceted character, rather reminiscent of Dukat - without the crazy. Charming when he needs to be, irritating under fire and not a man to turn your back on. The industrious cardassian bureaucrat.
Nice wraps for Leva and Alendra. And an interesting ending reverie for Owens.
Author's Response: I had a blast with Gul Belore because he was both unlike most Cardassians we've seen and yet very much exactly like a Cardassian. Perhaps, as I think a character in the story pointed out, the face of a new Cardassia. For better or worse.
Date: 18 Mar 2021 14:07 Title: Part VI: The Last Campaign: 7
Never underestimate the power of a man willing to take a bullet (or a phaser blast.) Lam is a murderer.
Actually, I think so far this is my favorite of your stories. In no small part because it harps on the question of unquestioned authority and unquestioning loyalty, which we are currently experiencing a very bitter lesson in.
Author's Response: Very glad to hear you enjoyed this story. It's definitely one of my faves as well. Interestingly, this story predates most recent political events by quite a bit. I suppose goes to show that some of those elements are, regretfully, quite universal and endlessly repeatable.
Date: 17 Mar 2021 11:18 Title: Part VI: The Last Campaign: 6
Kudos for keeping space combat interesting with lots of twists and turns. It is no mean feat and I've read enough boring space battles (including several of my own first drafts.)
Now the far more challenging task awaits... I liked the presence of the offworld valerians using cardassian shipping. I'm curious about their relationship with the cardassians.
Author's Response: Thanks, always happy to hear that space battles are working out. There are people out there who write these amazingly well. And sometimes they feel like uninspired set pieces because somebody figured that you ought to have some ships shooting at each other if you write Star Trek.
Date: 16 Mar 2021 13:49 Title: Part VI: The Last Campaign: 5
And another cliffhanger - literally... A good example of the best plans going awry and that Lam is no fool when it comes to strategy.
This story does not skimp on the action sequences. Nice to see the Valerians putting some skin in the game.
Author's Response: I've got to put the "Adventure" into Star Eagle Adventures some way. Usually that means a healthy dose of good old fashioned action. It also helps, of course, if it drives the story forward.
Date: 16 Mar 2021 13:37 Title: Part VI: The Last Campaign: 4
Great action sequence and a satisfying end for Mahoney - if not entirely to Star's satisfaction. And another classic Eagle Adventures cliffhanger... Or command-chair hanger...
Author's Response: Sometimes irony is just too much fun ...
Date: 12 Mar 2021 10:20 Title: Part VI: The Last Campaign: 3
Interesting adversary in the hives - I don't think we'll have to wait for faster than light travel to see something similar unleashed on a battlefield. Or on civilian populations.
The theme of this story about conflicting loyalties to a democratic culture or to a charismatic leader could not be more timely, considering what our culture is currently going through with fascist movements cropping up throughout western civilization.
Author's Response: Yeah, I've seen this kind of weapon pop up all over the place since I wrote this. In fact, it probably was around long before I wrote it too. Most memorably a similar weapon on a larger scale appeared in the last Kelvin-verse Trek movie. Unquestioned loyalty to a single man is almost always a terrible idea. It's the great tragedy of human history that we struggle to learn that lesson.
Date: 11 Mar 2021 12:55 Title: Part VI: The Last Campaign: 2
And that's where infighting will get you...
Really interesting story twists. Appears Mahoney was counting on the thulians, but not counting on them to shoot at his ship..
Very fun plot development.
Author's Response: One of the many mistakes of one Evan Mahoney. What a tragedy that man is, eh?
Date: 10 Mar 2021 18:45 Title: Part VI: The Last Campaign: 1
Communications are the first target for any coup. Beware any assault on the media...
Very interesting story development. The correct course of action only seems obvious once accomplished...
Nice to watch characters having to think their way through these things.
Author's Response: It remain to be seen if controlling communications is the way to bring peace. But it's a good, time-tested strategy, I agree.
Date: 09 Mar 2021 16:53 Title: Part V: The Uneasy Truth: 7
As I suspected, nice pull-together of the various plotlines. It remains to be seen what role Mahoney will play in this. I doubt he is involved in Lam's private war, but he seems to have one going of his own.
Author's Response: Glad you enjoyed how things are coming together here. I like those moments in a story when it starts becoming clear what the connections are. Not sure if I've done this here as well as say in "Shadows in the Haze" but as long as it makes sense in the reader's mind, it works.
Date: 09 Mar 2021 16:39 Title: Part V: The Uneasy Truth: 6
Just like a marine... Definitely take the chance to live when faced with death. A good side of these characters to see.
Also a good exploration of the differences between SF and Marines.
Author's Response: Thanks, I did mean to drive that distinction home as much as I could in this story.
Date: 05 Mar 2021 14:02 Title: Part V: The Uneasy Truth: 5
Technically, it would be an act of barratry - but far from certain whether it is on the part of Leva or Mahoney. Simply put, both should be court-marshalled and JAG should sort it out.
I'm rather surprised that a vulcan took sides with Mahoney - which makes it quite entertaining. Equally so with Alendra. Nice plot twist...
Author's Response: Glad your enjoying the twists of this tale. And you're right, the Vulcan should probably have seen the illogical course of action Mahoney has embarked on. But then again, not all Vulcans are created equal, and this one is fairly young, practically a child. That might explain why she believes following her orders is the right call.
Date: 04 Mar 2021 12:26 Title: Part V: The Uneasy Truth: 4
Really liking the fact that Owens' plan is untenable. Getting marines to not fight is rather like getting musicians to observe the rests. Herder to get people to not do something than it is to get them to do something.
This is probably the most enjoyable moment for Sharval so far. She seems much more like a high ranking official of local government.
Author's Response: Agreed, I don't think I've written Sharval like a government official in this story. Mostly, I think because she has long since realized how ineffective she is in that position against the marines. Frustrated, she has turned to become a freedom fighter of sorts. Or terrorist, if you will. But underneath all that she is still a peace officer who has the best interest of her people at heart.
Date: 03 Mar 2021 14:38 Title: Part V: The Uneasy Truth: 3
I liked the description of Star's anxiety about Katanga and Nora - and that she quickly dismissed it. Very good storytelling in the response of Eagle's crew to Mahoney's ultimatum. I am interested in whether that little diatribe was witnessed by Leva.
It appears someone has a problem that they want Star Fleet to make go away for them...
Nice twisty little plot.
Author's Response: Not unlike Lam, Mahoney is losing it here. That's to my point a while back that I wasn't quite as happy with how my antagonists turned out in this story. Still, there is something undeniably fun about a character having a breakdown.
Date: 02 Mar 2021 15:46 Title: Part V: The Uneasy Truth: 2
A variety of deus ex machina.... and none the worse for wear. I particularly liked the dialogue in this chapter as well as the continued tension betwen Owens and Sharval. Alas, enjoying such illicit attraction is wasted on the young.
Author's Response: Glad you're enjoying the Owens/Sharval relationship. It's one of my favorite aspects of this story. It's not quite a Kirk-level romance, but it certainly is a call back to those times when starship captains seemed to get involved with an alien lady every other week.
Date: 02 Mar 2021 15:27 Title: Part V: The Uneasy Truth: 1
So the thulians are involved in Lam's little engineering exercise...
Very good storytelling. Of course Star doesn't know the significance of it - if she did she would abandon Mahoney in favor of her own captain.
Like how this is coming together.
Author's Response: Thanks for the kind words. And yeah, if our characters knew everything we did, stories would run a very different course. It's why those darned kids always go to the cemetery in a horror movie.
Date: 26 Feb 2021 14:33 Title: Part IV: The Improbable Alliance: 11
Wasco is a very interestingly developed character - as, increasingly, is Lam. So he's willing to kill a Star Fleet captain so he can keep fighting his little war? That's more than a dishonorable discharge. Suggest he has a lot more than closure at stake.
Makes me wonder how the two story threads are intertwined..
Author's Response: Lam, let's face it, has gone off the reservation at this point (which actually might be a racist expression, come to think of it). Maybe he's gotten used to having too much power. Here, he has clearly crossed a line and Wasco clearly sees that.
Date: 25 Feb 2021 12:11 Title: Part IV: The Improbable Alliance: 10
Very fun analytical scene - totally Trek tactical analysis. That could have come out of STNG. Very interesting that the officer Leva had spoken to is now avoiding him like the plague. Not surprising - a tale of conflicting loyalties.
And the pirates keep turning out to be more clever and well equipped at every turn than expected. They don't seem to be just pirates. Mahoney and Star are probably warping into a hornet's nest...
Author's Response: Thanks, I do love these little call backs to Trek. That's why we do what we do, I guess.
Date: 24 Feb 2021 13:54 Title: Part IV: The Improbable Alliance: 9
Owens actually did fairly well in a fire fight with Marines. It will be interesting to see what happened to Belore.
Good fight scene - and there's always something both comic and dangerous about frightened livestock. I suspect we're about to get some very rapid character development from Wasco..
Author's Response: It's always tough to write a convincing fight scene where the heroes/protagonists have to go up against much better trained fighters. It drives me nuts when that happens and they get away with an unrealistically easy victory. "Super easy, barely an inconvenience," is a popular internet catchphrase that addresses this kind of phenomenon in movies and TV among others. Hopefully there were enough factors in this fight that made their victory more believable.
Date: 23 Feb 2021 14:08 Title: Part IV: The Improbable Alliance: 8
Looks like Star is starting to see through the fog of the mess of her own life and make a few good decisions. Very interesting exchange with the prisoner - that's some good storyteling.
I'm also enjoying the - not so much conflict as strong discussion between Star and Nora, who seems to be stepping up to her role as a sort of 2nd officer in this situation. I enjoy seeing women portrayed in strong leadership roles.
Author's Response: What's the old saying? Never too late to do the right thing? I'm glad you enjoy the Nora/Star interaction which I think is particularly pertinent considering their turbulent history. Loyalty, of course, being a major theme in this story.
Date: 23 Feb 2021 14:00 Title: Part IV: The Improbable Alliance: 7
Then the monastary is the last place they should go...
Always fun to involve aliens in romantic affairs - although I suspect they would be a little put off by scents and tastes. On the other hand, they might find each other inappropriately delicious and carry on rather dangerously... "Tastes like.. peppermint cotton candy?"
But despite Michael's and Deen's well founded misgivings I would enjoy seeing this relationship explored more.
Author's Response: That's a great call. For simplicity and to spice up the Owens/Sharval relationship, I've followed the usual sci-fi/Trek convention where attractive people of different species will always find each other attractive, no matter what. In reality there would be a whole lot of biological differences to overcome. I need to think of building something like that into my next interspecies relationship. That sounds like fun.
Date: 19 Feb 2021 14:17 Title: Part IV: The Improbable Alliance: 6
That sounds like more than a pirate attack. Appears that peace has failed to break out on at least two fronts.
Lots of fun things to work with in this chapter, but the demise of the colony is probably the most interesting.
Leva is definitely in a tight spot.
Author's Response: Leva's position in not enviable, I guess. The man will have to navigate some tough seas, stuck as he is in-between to head strong personalities.
Date: 18 Feb 2021 13:27 Title: Part IV: The Improbable Alliance: 5
Excellent sense of place and mood and leading with scent (the strongest of our senses tied to memory and emotion). Along with the ever present rain, it makes for a very vibrant story. I'm also amused by the usefulness of a religious order and the offfputting relationship between Sharval and Owens.
Quite a fun read.
Author's Response: Thanks, and glad you enjoyed this. Nothing like a bit of a jailbreak adventure and unusual allies.
Date: 17 Feb 2021 14:34 Title: Part IV: The Improbable Alliance: 4
Some more fun with Mahoney - a very interesting adversary given the role reversal. There's an old saying in State government (probably holds true for most organizations): "Be nice to the people working for you. One of them may well be your boss next week."
Very interesting to see how this plays out. No matter how it does for Mahoney, it is a very fun storyline.
Author's Response: It's a good saying in practice. In reality, I don't think Star could have treated the man any better when he worked for her. In fact, she treated him too well. That, was probably her biggest mistake. Glad you're enjoying the story.
Date: 16 Feb 2021 14:24 Title: Part IV: The Improbable Alliance: 3
Owens will definitely regret joining in the jailbreak, especially at the cost of Wasco.
That said - very amusing development. I will be interested to see what the final upshot is for General Lam.
Another unpredictable plot twist - not so much the breakout, but that Owens would not stay put, which might give him greater leverage.
Author's Response: Somebody else once pointed out to me that Michael Owens likes to see himself as Starfleet officer who likes following the rules but more often than not tends to break them. In fairness to him here, he's pretty much been imprisoned on drummed up charges. I can see why he wants out.