Date: 27 May 2015 06:37 Title: You Can't Go Home Again
Wow. This is a dark tale, in tone and in content.
Alyene is just right as a prceocious young girl. You captured that magical "tween" age nicely -- she reminded me of my ten-year-old son and his friends. Old enough to hear and comprehend what the adults around her are saying, and eager to eavesdrop ... but perhaps not emotionally ready for the reality of those conversations. Very well done.
I like Faelin and his wife. Trek, especially, has a tendency to paint people (especially aliens) as either total altruists or total villains, when the truth is that most people fall somewhere in between. Faelin knows that the future of Bajor depends not on charity, but on people like him -- people willing to work hard and endure the slings and arrows of the beaten-down complainers around him in order to rebuild an independent world. He doesn't have dreams of ruling Bajor. He just knows that his best shot at contributing to its successful rebirth is to work hard, be useful, and raise his ten children to do the same. I wonder what his future holds, as it is men lke that who often find themselves leading, eventually, however reluctantly.
I also wonder what the aftermath of this event will be for Alyene. Luckily, she is young enough to be resilient, and to bury a memory like this one in her subconscious. But she is also old enough that it could very well mark a turning point in the way she views the universe.
It's interesting to see a story delve so deeply into Bajoran culture, and I really enjoyed this closer look at the aftermath of the war. As for your writing, it's very solid, good stuff. You could make things a little clearer in the beginning by cleaning up the tenses between past and past-perfect (I have trouble with that, too, when I'm on a roll with the muse and just getting words down), particularly around the point where she's remembering her school days. But that's a minor quibble. Overall, this is exceptionally good work and I loved reading it. When I have time, you're going on my "to read" list for sure. :)
Date: 26 May 2015 13:20 Title: You Can't Go Home Again
Woah, what an ending!
A wonderfully poignant story here, giving us a glimpse into the horrors of the Occupation from a different point of view, as those who fled the Cardassian atrocities return to retake their land - very reminiscent of the survivors of the Holocaust returning to Israel after WW2. You did a great job describing the feelings of your characters - it was very easy to get into the head of this precocious young girl, forced to try and get her head around all of the various emotions surrounding her and make sense of the nonsensical at a time when those who are much older than her are struggling. Alyene was a nice character, well drawn.
The tagless dialogue at the beginning was a nice touch as well, showing the two sides of the Bajoran conversation that had to be going on at this time, echoing a lot of the arguments that would be heard in the first season of DS9. The Bajoran/Cardassian situation was one of the most interesting ever portrayed on Star Trek, in my opinion, and you did a very good job of getting into that here. It is obvious that the scars the Cardassians have left behind are going to be difficult to deal with for everybody, but you get across very well that for those who left and are now returning, seeing those scars up close has to be traumatic.
And then, as I mentioned at the top of the review, we get the ending. I was not expecting that, although it made a certain sick sense considering what we know about the Cardassians. Although I'm glad there were no explosive booby traps to hurt Aly, I have to assume that this is going to have a major effect on her.
Nicely done all round, a clever handling of a traumatic episode in your character's life. Well done!