Date: 14 Dec 2014 09:56 Title: Trust and Lies
Feels a bit like the quiet before the storm here. No chance the Cardassian interrogator is finished with Rychel just yet. She didn't get anything useful out of her and if I'm guessing correctly, Cardassian interrogators work on a commission kind of basis. She'll be back.
Date: 11 Dec 2014 04:20 Title: Internment Camp 179
Things just got real for Rychel. She's in it now, and deep. Baring her near fatal fall earlier, and perhaps the short ground battle, this might be the most dangerous situation she has found herself. Worse even, she's completely by herself and at the mercy of her unpredictable Cardassian captors. As the saying goes, what doesn't kill you ...
Date: 08 Dec 2014 23:26 Title: Celebration
In the after action 'glow' we see Rychel taking satisfaction in a job well done. Dakbar is likewise impressed with her, and for once, he is able to restrain the dark half of his soul for long enough to commit to the physical intimacy the two of them have been attempting for months.
Date: 07 Dec 2014 04:00 Title: Making Plans
Rychel sure is a brave one here but I can't help wonder if she might not be in over her head a litte. This is a Bajoran woman after all who has never experienced the cruelty of the Bajoran occupation, she doesn't truly understand what the Cardassians are capable of. And I'm not sure if she is strong or tough enough to face that kind of situation.
Oh and also, Desan will have a major fit once he finds out what she's about to do.
Date: 07 Dec 2014 03:50 Title: Escalation
Uh, unexpected twist there at the end. Are the Cardassians back in league with the Dominion? Considering how things worked out last time, my guess will be no. Maybe they held on to some of their ships when they withdrew back I to the Gamma quadrant. Either way, this is bad news.
The Cardassians are mobilizing and that can't be good for the Federation, especially if they have access to serious fire power. Also what will this mean for their mission?
And yeah, Karzan continues to be a dick. As I feared he might become their biggest liability for success.
Date: 05 Dec 2014 16:33 Title: Passing Time
I wonder, with Kazar's general attitude, if he might become a serious problem to this mission.
The funny stories and misadventures were a nice way to pass the time even if they probably contained much more information about her brother than Rychel would have ever wanted to hear.
Date: 04 Dec 2014 16:08 Title: The Harsh Light of Day
That was a weird dream, but then dreams usually are.
I liked the heat to heart between Rychel and Reesa. Good old fashioned girl talk about food and guys and ... uh ... The nature of the universe. Okay maybe not that old fashioned. But it was nice seeing Reesa come out of her shell and make a new friend. In fact I think both these gals needed this.
Date: 03 Dec 2014 15:35 Title: Enemies Within
Good for Rychel that she stand up for Reesa and ultimately herself. Having said that I can understand Karzen's argument. Not the one he's making about Reesa, it seems too tainted by racial bias, but the one about her and Dakbar is more difficult to simply disregard. The man is, after all, a traitor. And if anything he might have made the lives of people like Reesa so much more difficult.
Date: 24 Nov 2014 23:02 Title: The Rescue
Rychel acquitted herself well in that fight, and demonstrated that she’s got the command chops to get the job done. And here’s conflicted Dakbar, hating her, loving her, and reveling in her ferocity all at the same time. And juuuuust when they were about to have a moment… the damned transporter chief gets in the way!
Date: 20 Nov 2014 14:16 Title: Charting a Course
I appreciated the planning at the beginning of this chapter. As people like to point out, space is pretty big, and there are many different ways to get to your destination. And if you are stalking around in Cardassian space in disguise, you better make damn sure you don't run into the wrong kind of people.
Date: 19 Nov 2014 14:29 Title: Booby Trapped
I don't think these guys are familiar with the term NSFW when in casual conversation. That's alright though, as it allows for hilarity to ensue.
Close call with that booby trap. Now I can't help but suspect Reesa. She probably just overlooked it but I'm a suspicious sort.
Bringing up Dakbar is a sore subject for Rychel who still thinks the world of the man. Looks like they need to think of a different plan.
Date: 18 Nov 2014 17:12 Title: Caring and Careless
Now, things are back to normal. Dakbar has not forgotten the beautiful predatory nature of his species. He is an expensive project so his instructors must have provided some mental inhibition for such occasions. His inner monologue is a treat to read â€“ so brutal and different from his faĂ§ade. However, his conditioned behavior is beginning to crack.
Still, Rychelâ€™s attitude is quite puzzling. His first odd reaction should have flashed her red alert, she should have been thinking of how to send him away, women just sense when a man is about to become dangerous and uncontrollable, but she continued with this Pollyanna-like naivetĂ©. She wanted to appear open-minded and acted as though nothing had happened.
Date: 16 Nov 2014 07:06 Title: The Tak'noret
Not much happening in this chapter to move the story forward and yet I really enjoyed it. The banter between these veteran spies is both believable and entertaining. Clearly they are not used to having female company on their missions, which makes it all the more fun reading them joshing about.
Rychel is the fish out of water here but with being the bosses' sister, she enjoys quite a bit of protection from the guys. Not that they are holding back much. They seem to be quite an say bunch of guys to get along with.
Also nice to get some more insights into Desan's and Rychel's backgrounds here. The only person who truly feels like she's standing out might be Reesa. You can't help but feel for her and her situation. She's so obviously still struggling with her complicated heritage.
Author's Response: There has been a lot of physicality up until this part of the story, and I wanted to do a few chapters that were more "character studies," and would help introduce Desan's associates. I'm glad that you like it! I've often jokes with friends that I was better at writing characters than writing plots :-D
Date: 13 Nov 2014 14:09 Title: Between Red Alerts
This little lady is on heat, that is for sure. Dakbar should do something about it, having an engineer in hormonal imbalance is just as dangerous as a warp core breach. Still, even without being drugged she is getting a crush on him. He is really in two minds about what to make of her â€“ his secretive past suggests that she is an enemy but at the same time, he canâ€™t bring himself to be insensitive. I wonder whether he can afford any type of closeness, considering what is at stake.rn rnrnGreat fun to read, the intensity of her girlish flirting against his cold-blooded assessment of the situation. rn
Date: 12 Nov 2014 15:45 Title: Operation Zeitgeist
Unless their plan was for Rychel to listen in, I question the wisdom of discussing a sensitive intelligence operation over comm channels which could potential be hacked.
Thankfully Rychel is not the enemy and the worst that could happen is for her to become an unsanctioned stowaway on this mission. Considering she didn't get very far undetected that's probably unlikely to happen.
Whatever mission she'll end up being part of, I hope she'll get her act together a little bit more. Forgetting to put on clothes is a big no-no when carrying out covert assignments for SI, or at least one would think so.
Author's Response: Hm, I may need to do a bit of a rewrite if it's not clear. Everyone else was in a conference room, Rychel hacked into the audio channels for said room. I'll have to look it over again when I have a bit of time.
Date: 11 Nov 2014 17:30 Title: Learning the Ropes
Nice bit of misdirection here which I didn't see coming.
Rychel will need all the training she can get. I still wonder if she is a good choice for this mission if there are far better trained operatives available.
Especially since Rychel has 99 problems. Stern isn't that bad after all and has plenty of advice to give. But there's no doubt her life has been upended recently. And it looks like Starfleet may have a defection problem. Where exactly are all these people running off to?
Date: 10 Nov 2014 17:04 Title: The Thin Line Between Love... And Stockholm Syndrome
That went well.
I'm with Dakbar regarding his opinion about Rychel. She's got trust issues. In that she trusts and forgives him far too quickly. She almost reminds me of an abused spouse who is willing to overlook the beatings she keeps getting from her husband because she keeps telling herself that he loves her and doesn't really mean it.
So, okay, I suppose the relationship between these two is slightly more complicated but the physical abuse Rychel has put up with so far is getting concerning.
And now she's willing to risk her own life to help Dakbar by going on a mission she's not been trained for. I suppose the title for this chapter has bee appropriately chosen.
Date: 09 Nov 2014 17:17 Title: Down on Maeri
Holy cow, what an assignment! And have these kids ever heard of an anti-grav platform or body harness? Old-fashioned ropes under these circumstances seem outlandishly dangerous… but then the whole damn mission seems like a suicide pact! Still, Rychel’s demonstrated a great deal of courage in the face of a bad situation. I hope she pulls off her escape without suffering too many more wounds, either physical or psychological.
Date: 09 Nov 2014 11:24 Title: Mending and Manners
Their civilized attitude during the conversation surprised me. Are 30 years enough time to forget and forgive? I fully realize that they are both Star Fleet officers but still? Dakbar has his agenda, he is between Scylla and Charybdis so to say, he is on guard all the time but still he also manages to enjoy her company. Her passing remark about her SI brother has thrown him off balance but later his paranoia gradually descends.
I truly canâ€™t figure out how he ended up in the Federation, managed to adapt to a foreign lifestyle and how he was allowed to serve on a Starfleet vessel. Cardassians has never been known as an easy-going, amiable, or cosmopolitan species. Besides, the animosity and distrust between Cardassia and the Federation might have smoldered but never disappeared.
Rychelâ€™s initial curiosity deepens and she starts liking him. Still, his life is complicated enough and I donâ€™t know whether he wants more complications.
Author's Response: A lot can happen in 30 years. Worf continued to serve in Starfleet, even when the Klingons were at war with the Federation. I understand that he was largely raised by humans, but in the years following the Dominion War, the Federation made considerable efforts to help the Cardassians rebuild. I refuse to accept the belief that all members of an alien species will act in a certain matter. It will become clear as this story progresses that Dakbar hasn't always been this suspicious, and that he is in fact a victim of his own kind. Rychel is 24, and thus born after the Occupation and the Dominion war. She is also agnostic, and refuses to simply accept the biases that are held by her people.
Date: 09 Nov 2014 11:15 Title: Over-exposed
Well, the start does not seem that bad. I expected they would fight on the bridge and chase in the corridors screaming at each other â€śCardassian oppressorâ€ť and â€śBajoran terroristâ€ť. In fact, everything looks so innocent and fluffy. I have quite high expectations when it comes to sex and violence. This MA rating is hardly justified for the time being. I donâ€™t think that seeing someoneâ€™s (scaly) behind is the end of the world, for either side. It could be embarrassing but having in mind the dubious entertainment programs in the holodeck, hardly surprising. Still, the things that people do in their off-duty time made roar with laughter. Being trapped in someone elseâ€™s dirty fantasies must be quite a shock but still it is utterly hilarious to read.
I might be wrong but Rychel seems to have been interested in the guy for some time so the holodeck incident only presents her with an opportunity. Still, Dakbar has too much on his mind to think of anything else but saving his face and privacy.
Author's Response: Just because the story starts out fluffy doesn't mean that it stays that way. The MA rating is deserved, though it doesn't really come into play until chapters 30+.
Date: 09 Nov 2014 05:02 Title: Queening the White Knight's Pawn
This is becoming more and more of a psychological game as these character keep analyzing and questioning everybody's motivation. And some, like Dakbar, seem to be arriving at the wrong conclusions. Even though the notion that Rychel has been working for her brother all this time isn't all that bad and would certainly explain some of her behavior. It is also completely wrong unless of course you've pulled the wool over our eyes from the beginning.
Desan is a clever operator but it looks as if he's lost control here, on his own turf no less. Unless of course this is all part of his plan yet again. There are so many wheels in motion here, I've given up trying to predict what happens next.
Author's Response: I was really trying to make it hard for the reader to track people's motivations and alliances, and I'm glad to see that it was successful. Dakbar is somewhat of a loose cannon, I think, at this point.
Date: 08 Nov 2014 10:38 Title: Fallen From Grace
A lot of things being revealed here and I'm still not sure I've caught it at all. It's a complex web of intrigue and espionage, not to mention a great amount of rivaling emotions displayed by all parties.
Dakbar might be the one who finds himself in the best possible position here. Having gone from a Cardassian spy with nothing to lose (save perhaps Rychel's love), he's being offered a chance to reunite to his thought to be dead family. That's a biggie.
As for Rychel, in my opinion she's still far too forgiving. Yes, Dakbar has had a brutal past which has left him severely damaged, but as far as I'm concerned, he remains responsible for his own actions, even if Rychel apparently prefers not to think that way.
Ah love, it blinds us all.
Date: 07 Nov 2014 17:54 Title: Coming to Terms
An awkward, uncomfortable and yet also extremely gratifying reunion of the three main protagonists of this saga, plus an appearance by a surprise guest.
I have been waiting for an explanation of Rychel's actions and the one she offers here is both stunning as well as somewhat logical. A tremendous risk, considering she was drunk when she attempted to kill herself which means things could have quickly slipped out of her control. I'm not entirely sure if I'm totally convinced by her explanation but I'm willing to take it for now.
Desan's little experiment here seems to have told him what he wanted to know, seeing Dakbar's reaction to Rychel and her reasonings was, after all, quite telling. I didn't think it possible but Desan might actually be warming to the Cardassian spy and his feelings for his sister.
The big question now is, where do we go from here?