Date: 29 Aug 2015 21:31 Title: Part VI: The Last Campaign: 4
Uh... Holy Jumpinjehosiphat!!
That was a genuine, nail-biting, roller coaster ride! Yay for Tazla finally shuffling Mahoney off his mortal coil, that ass-hat will not be missed. I hope Star somehow survives this, but this might be one crisis too many for her.
Author's Response: Yeah, she started out with about nine lives way back when, she just may've used all of them up. After all, it ain't easy being Tazla Star.
Date: 04 Jul 2015 12:18 Title: Part V: The Uneasy Truth: 7
Nora led the away mission masterfully, and may now have uncovered an important key to defusing this turbulent scenario. That was one hell of an insertion for a 12-person team, and to do so while under fire from both the enemy and your own side... damn!
Author's Response: Yeah, I really wanted Nora to come through here as somebody who truly knows what she's doing, at least as far as leading an assault is concerned. And a little bit of showing off your superior fighting skills never hurts. (well, except the other guys, of course). It also demonstrated, I hope, that Marines and Starfleeters can work well together and do so on Eagle. It's not all like Valeria.
Date: 27 Jun 2015 16:58 Title: Part V: The Uneasy Truth: 6
Well, Deen can stop badgering Owens about his flirtation with Sharval now, seeing as she just jumped into bed with an old flame in about 10 seconds flat! Perhaps her repressed jealousy regarding Owens and Sharval prompted this litttle liaison, who knows?
Author's Response: Yep, morale high ground's gone out of the airlock here. But Deen deserves this more than Owens deserves whatever it is that's going on between him and Sharval. This girl hasn't had this kind of fun in forever. And I do like your theory. Very plausible. Thanks for catching up with this story and the reviews. Much appreciated.
Date: 27 Jun 2015 16:42 Title: Part V: The Uneasy Truth: 5
I did not expect an armed confrontation on Sacajawea's bridge. Mahoney did indeed lose his #^@%, and kudos to Leva for stopping him. However... it'll likely only take a few moments for Mahoney to reactivate the tactical systems, and then it's all over for everyone on the surface.
Author's Response: But in all fairness, Leva could have handled this a little better, trying to deescalate instead of starting a shouting match in the middle of the bridge. But hey, I couldn't get the Denzel/Hackman scene from Crimson Tide out of my head. Besides, the guy's a half-Romulan, I guess he's allowed to get a little heated from time to time.
Date: 27 Jun 2015 16:34 Title: Part V: The Uneasy Truth: 4
Once again we see the other side of the coin in regards to the blind loyalty we've seen starship crews give their captains in the past. Here, Lam's authority is practically the word of God, and defying his orders is nearly unthinkable to his subordinates. In Star Trek we've seen crews refuse bad orders for good reasons, and here we're seeing an army refuse good orders for bad reasons.
Damn... what a friggin' quagmire you've created!
Author's Response: It's a pickle, ain't it. In Van der Meer's defense, she probably didn't attend the same ethics and morality classes as Owens and co. at Starfleet Academy. The Marines code is supposed to be more simple and straight forward with little to no ambiguities. Which is all well and good so long as your commanding officers haven't gone seriously cray-cray.
Date: 27 Jun 2015 16:29 Title: Part V: The Uneasy Truth: 3
Star's clearly made the correct decision, with the backing of the other Eagle senior officers. However, Mahoney is going to become unhinged when he discovers she hasn't followed his orders... I expect fireworks of the not-so-pretty variety.
I was glad to see Star finally having become one of 'them'... for however brief a time it may be.
Author's Response: Mahoney is close to losing it, that's for sure. And I'm happy to see that you are glad for Star. It took her a while to get to this point, to being truly accepted by her people. Let's hope she can keep it up.
Date: 27 Jun 2015 16:12 Title: Part V: The Uneasy Truth: 2
Thank the gods for a friendly face in the crowd.
It's surreal to think that Owens and the others have caused Lam so much grief that the general may very well have them killed, no matter how he spins the deed after the fact.
Author's Response: Lam is in complete tunnel vision mode now. And I suppose once you tell yourself that your actions, as drastic as they may be, are for the good of the Federation, every counter point to your argument equals betrayal and justifies nearly everything. Is that a sound argument? No. But the man has issues.
Date: 14 Jun 2015 11:32 Title: Part V: The Uneasy Truth: 4
I really sympathize with van der Meer, it is not up to her to make such decisions, she has never been meant to make them, they really want too much from her. She has to discard everything that defines her as a person in order to assume their point of view. I don’t know how many of her people will follow her, Lam is their hero after all.
Still, Deen’s idea to present credentials and orders coming from Starfleet Command was brilliant. That way they really look like misunderstood peace envoys not fugitives and mutineers.
Author's Response: I agree, van der Meer is in a near impossible position here and even if she wanted to do the right thing, she probably wouldn't have the support of her own people to do it. Besides, life is much easier and uncomplicated when you just follow orders. In this case it might also lead to unmitigated disaster.
Date: 14 Jun 2015 10:58 Title: Part V: The Uneasy Truth: 3
This is a great chapter. Mahoney huffing and puffing about Star’s open disrespect and her crew supporting her. I did not expect that Nora would be that direct, but in a way Mahoney’s irrational behavior had managed to irritate everyone on Eagle. Taz was quite surprised too and probably realized for the first time that she had to trust her crewmates more. Still no one knows what Mahoney is going to do – he is truly obsessed with his mission as well as getting it even with Taz.
Author's Response: Thanks, glad you enjoyed it. Mahoney is clearly starting to lose it. And maybe that's not entirely surprising. I mean, sure, the guy has some serious issues, but Star has not exactly made an effort to douse the flames either. I also think the way the crew is supporting Taz here is possibly a real turning point for her.
Date: 14 Jun 2015 10:22 Title: Part V: The Uneasy Truth: 2
So the little princess turned out to be useful after all. Who would know that an old romance from the Academy could be that pivotal? I guess Lam has figured out what had happened much before they set their plan in motion. Sharval is great fun but Deen does not like her blunt open-mindedness.
I was wondering whether Arik would pop up again, he was in the opening chapter. I am happy he is back.
Author's Response: Yes, DeMara is more than just a pretty sidekick, even though admittedly she hasn't been given a lot to do in this story so far, other than to remind Owens that having a fling with Sharval is probably not the greatest idea. I think her relationship with Sharval is mostly clouded by the fact that she doesn't seem interested in backing off from her captain. And Arik is back. A bit of a shame it took so long for him to reappear but good to see that his earlier appearance was memorable enough that he's not been forgotten.
Date: 07 Jun 2015 22:06 Title: Part IV: The Improbable Alliance: 10
A great little detective story with the crew chasing down the probable location of the raiders' base... and with Mahoney acting like an actual human being, as well!
That won't last.
Author's Response: Yeah, when things are going well, Mahoney has things together. It's those times when he doesn't get his way that you better watch out.
Date: 07 Jun 2015 21:49 Title: Part IV: The Improbable Alliance: 11
Well, issuing a 'kill order' against fellow Federation personnel isn't going to win Lam any popularity contests, and it's giving Owens & Company all the ammunition they need to escalate this conflict.
Author's Response: Indeed. However, escalating things could turn out to be tricky. Especially if it's 5 against 50,000. Thanks for the reading and the review.
Date: 03 May 2015 07:11 Title: Part V: The Uneasy Truth: 1
Taz is magnificent, the good old Taz breaking rules and laws with dramatic nonchalance and hooligan cockiness. I adore that Trill. Still, her efforts were worthwhile, the chosen course really does not make any sense. And all that garnished with Mahoney’s nagging, Nora’s doubts, Xylion’s distrust and Katanga’s open disapproval. Still, when Taz really wants to do something, she is unstoppable.
Author's Response: Taz remains a force to be reckoned with and I'm glad she still resonates with you. She's taking awfully big risks here, determined to do it her way. It could garner her a one-way ticket back into stockade though, if she's not careful.
Date: 03 May 2015 06:36 Title: Part IV: The Improbable Alliance: 11
So, Wasko has made his final decision, he managed to see through Lam’s madness. Still, the realization that one Starfleet officer can send his men to kill another Starfleet officer is quite disturbing for Owens and his team. I really like Sharval’s attitude – ready to banter and exchange playful remarks while her shoulder probably kills her. Owens is not to be underestimated either, he realized how to wind her down by turning on his charm.
Despite his injury, Belore shows good humor and truly enjoys Owens’ amorous predicament. I hope this officer will listen to Wasco’s arguments and will be ready to support them.
Author's Response: I'm glad you like Sharval. She breaks the mold a bit of the cliched rebel fighter, I hope. I wanted her to be playful and even a bit juvenile at times. Could be attributed to her species, and probably also the fact that this isn't Bajor and she isn't really fighting a decade old occupation.
Date: 03 May 2015 05:51 Title: Part IV: The Improbable Alliance: 10
Well, Leva carries out his own investigation and realizes that something does not tie in. I guess he will return to his observation that the warp trails at Yarra III are completely different from the rest. I like the way he tricked Mahoney into believing that he had unraveled the secret while he simply needed his consent to implement the results from the stimulation.
Very cunning indeed, but Mahoney does not realize what happens between those almost Vulcan pointed ears.
Author's Response: Leva is learning to walk a tight rope with Mahoney, a new experience for him, I'm sure. Questions is how long can things go on like this.
Date: 10 Apr 2015 11:11 Title: Part IV: The Improbable Alliance: 9
Owens is getting deeper and deeper in his role of a guerilla fighter, he simply has no choice. I wonder whether Wasco will take his side this time. I don’t think that Owens and company stand a chance against the away teams of Marines sent to search the perimeter.
These new democratic Cardassians! Had they sent a real old-fashioned Gul, this would have never happened.
Author's Response: Things are becoming more of a quagmire for Owens and company, no doubt. I suppose the question now is, can they dig themselves out of this hole somehow.
Date: 26 Mar 2015 14:19 Title: Part IV: The Improbable Alliance: 8
Well, it turns out Thulians are not what they look like. Yes, no one is innocent nowadays. But in a way it is funny, it shows how predictable Starfleet logic is and how easy it is for some shady player to trick them into a noble crusade while setting in motion their own game.
Both Laas and Taz are exceptions – their background does not leave any place for illusions and they manage to convey this message to the captured pirate. Still I don’t know whether Star’s curiosity and personal stake in the issue justify her decision to pursue the matter.
Author's Response: Agreed, Star just might be on a crusade of her own now. And this means she could be playing a dangerous game. Well, I suppose that's nothing new for her.
Date: 17 Mar 2015 14:36 Title: Part IV: The Improbable Alliance: 7
Impossible mission first, now we have a love triangle with Captain Owens as an object of conflicting alien desires. Not to mention his past affair that Deen brings up. This is beautiful, but still this power plant looks pretty well fortified. Besides, they don’t have Eagle in orbit so I wonder whether the locals could muster up some guerrilla outfit.
Author's Response: Hey, thanks for the ongoing reviews. Also glad you're enjoying the little interlude here. Nothing like a bit of misplaced romance in the middle of a war ...
Date: 17 Mar 2015 13:34 Title: Part IV: The Improbable Alliance: 6
These pirates are much more dangerous than expected. Two Starfleet vessels could not stop them from attacking the colony. Leva becomes more and more suspicious, the whole thing seems too foul to him. Mahoney can’t control and hide his animosity very well and this affects his decisions.
Both crews entertain doubts and question the rationale of their commanders.
Author's Response: Yeah, as if Leva and company didn't have enough problems already having to deal with this complicated situation, right? Now it seems that perhaps the threat these pirates pose is even worse than whatever internal feud is developing here.
Date: 12 Mar 2015 16:11 Title: Part IV: The Improbable Alliance: 5
I guess not only Deen has enjoyed a sheltered life so far. Owens also needs to say goodbye to his preconceptions and has to stop judging by Starfleet standards when they apparently don’t work. He can’t call people terrorists for simply refusing to side with the benevolent but quite pestering victors who refuse to go home having the best interests of the Valerians at heart. I almost believe it.
Still, there is hope for Owens – he quickly switched from accusations of terrorism to planning a…tactical strike. These Starfleet euphemisms never cease to amuse me. He has to spend more time around people like Sharval, and the lady clearly would like that too.
Author's Response: Yeah, Owens is definitely out of his element here. Truth be told he's gotten more used to sitting in his cushy captain's chair, not running through sewers and trying to avoid his own people trying to capture him. As for Sharval and Owens ... something appears to be brewing there.
Date: 12 Mar 2015 15:20 Title: Part IV: The Improbable Alliance: 4
Well, that was quite tough for Taz – all her past mistakes gathered together sneering and crying for revenge. The slimy Newheiser and his double-dealings, Mahoney’s bruised ego that prods him into madness.
I really like the way she pissed him off and made him flip out within seconds but I guess he will dedicate every minute of his worthless life to ruining her. I hope he dies in the forthcoming mission because he is not going to stop, it has become a personal vendetta for him. Taz has humiliated him on several levels so he is beyond reasoning. Let’s hope Leva can change the odds if the worst comes to the worst.
Author's Response: Taz probably didn't do herself any favors in provoking him the way she did here. She's playing with fire and sooner or later ... well, you know the rest.
Date: 02 Mar 2015 22:13 Title: Part IV: The Improbable Alliance: 2
Going into combat on the orders of someone you loathe is bad enough, but for Star to have Katanga sitting on the bridge doing his best judgemental Yoda impression... damn.
And the pirates certainly packed a punch for a supposedly disorganized band of outlaws. Anyone who can bloody the nose of a Nebula-class starship is not to be trifled with, and where the hell are pirates getting their hands on Federation quantum torpedoes?
The fact that the Valerians are the pirates (or at least counted among their number), suggests that the drama unfolding on Valeria is bigger in scope than I'd have guessed.
Date: 02 Mar 2015 22:05 Title: Part IV: The Improbable Alliance: 1
Mahoney continues to leave a bad taste in my mouth, and his attempt to sway Leva to his side makes him all the more slimey.
And now West's been thrown into the mix, directly in the path of someone who knows where most of Star's skeletons are buried.
I'm having a hard time seeing a way for Star to come out of this hot mess with her career intact.
Author's Response: Yeah, looks like everyone is gunning for our favorite Trill here, don't it? The odds are certainly not in her favor.
Date: 02 Mar 2015 22:02 Title: Part IV: The Improbable Alliance: 5
Good Lord, where to begin?!
Owens and party are actually forced to decide between remaining imprisoned by Lam, or joining an insurgency, a choice that’s going against all the captain’s training and intuition. Still, Lam hasn’t given them much choice in the matter, as it seems the good general has gone quite off the proverbial reservation.
The fact that Owens is considering acts of sabotage against the Marines is testament to how awful, sordid, and complex this whole mess has become in such a short span of time.
Oh, and fleeing through the sewers? I loved how Owens was reflecting that such an avenue of escape always seemed so much more palatable in fiction! There’s no doubt the Starfleet diplomatic team is in the shit… now literally!
Author's Response: Owens is out of his comfort zone here, which makes this very interesting, I think. Its unlike any situation he's ever faced before. We'll have to see how far he's truly willing to go to stop Lam.
Date: 02 Mar 2015 22:01 Title: Part IV: The Improbable Alliance: 4
Star vs. Mahoney… dear god I want that man to die, but slowly. He’s about as warped as any character we’ve seen in Starfleet in the UT universe. He lives solely to inflict pain and suffering on others, giving his actual Starfleet duties short shrift. Now that we’ve discovered what a monster he truly is, and how far he’s willing to go to exact vengeance on Star, I pity Leva all the more. It’s likely he’s the one who’s going to have to intercede to stop Mahoney and Star from murdering one another.
Author's Response: Leva is in an unenviable position alright. Stuck between two command officers literally at their throats. But hey, the man wanted a challenge, right? I think he got what he asked for.