Date: 16 Jun 2009 01:13 Title: EPILOGUE
Not a happy ending, to be sure, but there's the glimmer of hope here.
This has been a phenomenal book, with vivid characters, nail-biting cliffhangers, drama, interpersonal revelations, and our heroes trying desperately to hang on to their humanity amidst a tide of savagery.
A compelling story and a worthy addition to your stable of existing works.
Date: 22 Mar 2009 09:45 Title: EPILOGUE
A great story that went to some very dark places for the characters of Tom and Toni. At the start, I had wondered whether we would get some sort of fairy-tale ending. Not sure we did, but it an honest and harsh ending that fits the tale you told.
The emotional distraught felt by characters in the story and the process of handling them seemed to me to be very well done. I've no knowledge of counselling or therapy and so can only go by whether it reads as true in the story. To my mind it does and it didn't make for tiresome reading, which could have been if not handled correctly. The fact you found a balance to exploring these emotions and telling a story speaks of the skill and hoinesty of your writing. It seems your research also paid off in dividends. Well done for tackling a very tough subject matter. [Hope writing about didn't put you in a foul mood at the time! LOL]
Kudos too for the resurrection of characters. The use of Jellico was spot on. He was necessary for the story and he was written well. He was a tough ass but also annoying in his lack of patience [pacing constantly] and how he set others on edge.
The exploration of Tom and his history though is what deserves top marks. It is always fantastic to have a fanfic fill in holes and loose ends like this. To ground the character's story even more by linking it to Picard's history, to compare so starkly his experiences with Riker and Deanna, and to have Toni folded into the story as you did made it a very polished finished.
Anyway, well done a great story.
Author's Response: Thank you MF. To tell you the truth - this was a tale that I started and knew that it could never have the shiny-happy ending and have it come anywhere near being believable. Picard's experience with the Cardassians was never followed up on to any real degree in the show (the Borg seemed to win that dramatic plot - with reason) so I felt the need to at least touch upon it here. This was a piece that I actually wanted to make much darker but I realized it may not have been necessary to get the "lesson" out about the subject matter. I wanted to leave a sense of hope for Tom and Toni without making it gooey. These were two friends who shared a very horrific experience and I wanted to show that the two of them still had a lot of work ahead of them in the epilogue. I hope I succeeded in that regard. As for Jellico...he will always be one of my favorite characters - he was an infusion of protocol that TNG needed and I adored him. Still a man capable of great love (as evidenced by the childrens' drawings proudly displayed behind his ready room desk on the Enterprise) he never waivered in his professional, if less-than-senstive, demeanor and no one in Starfleet - not even Picard - had more experience with Cardassian tactics. I was a little worried the readers would want a battle scene with the Enterprise - but it just didn't fit nor would it have been realistic. Thanks for your comments MF. I am very glad you enjoyed the story. t