Date: 11 Jan 2021 15:37 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 26
I'm still liking the monomaniacal alt-Michael. There's a certain purity about the character.
Very fun development with Eagle prime showing up to save the day for alt-Eagle.
Still eagerly waiting to see how the Stars align - or not. And it will be fun to see alt-Michael dealing with Star prime.
Question: is there an alt-wildcat?
Author's Response: Loving the idea of alt-Cosmo as Amaya's animal companion. Now that I think of it, maybe he did exist and the reason he's no longer around has added to this Donners' anguish and generally poor disposition.
Date: 04 Jan 2021 07:26 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 25
Whatever happened to those ancient Romans...
Interesting exploration of the Garden of Forking Paths - what cultural development would have occurred if they turned right at Cygnus A instead of left...
Also some good character development with Garla. She seems to be asking the right questions. There is something not right with this Lif and evidently she can sense that.
And some Sorrows of Empire reflections. Lots of threads in this chapter to follow.
Author's Response: You are right, there is a lot going on in this trilogy, and the story of Culsten and Garla and the Krellonian Star Alliance forms a part of this. Garla will have to make a decision soon, it seems. Thanks for reading, really enjoying the continued feedback.
Date: 30 Dec 2020 15:02 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 24
Very nice mindscape sequence and really creative use of telepathy in storytelling. An infusion of backstory into the action - kudos!
Still very much looking forward to interaction with the Gary Seven character - hopefully more than just a message.
Author's Response: Quite a bit of backstory here, some of which will make more sense to you know that you had a chance to catch-up with my earlier work. Some is barely explained, which is on purpose to keep up the pace and to attempt to make this trip as disorienting to the reader as it is to the characters. Originally I had planned to extend this chapter with glimpses into Diamond and Ivory's past as well, but ultimately dropped the idea since this chapter is already long enough as it is and I didn't think it would really add much to the story.
Date: 21 Dec 2020 15:28 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 23
Classic alt-Trek burndown! After TOS, the vaporize function of the phasers was rarely used. And that ends one Jarik - but which one?
I'm quite enjoying the rage-monster Michael. Owens Prime might do with a little vicarious enjoyment of his alternate self - reminds me of good Kirk bad Kirk (not evil alt-Kirk) "I need my pain!" Kirk.
I quite enjoyed the episode where Kirk was split by the transporter and it was revealed that Kirk without his dark side was rather useless.
I'm also looking forward to dancing with the Stars - it would be fun to get them together. And alt-Michael probably wouldn't care ending both of them - not much patience for trying to sort them out.
Very fun setup putting the Michaels together.
Author's Response: I think Michael is far too horrified by all this to take any enjoyment from it. Although that shouldn't stop us as readers to be entertained by it all. I'm certainly glad that you are. More multi-verse shenanigans are coming up.
Date: 14 Dec 2020 15:25 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 22
Always a lot of fun for non-telepaths to have to overcome their queasiness about telepathy to participate. And for good reason. It's not always wise to allow a vulcan to root about inside your head. But Xylion is a man who has loved and lost so to speak, so he might be more receptive to Hopkins that she might suspect.
Very interesting psychic appearance by G7 - I'm really looking forward to more interaction with him. Totally enjoyable blast from the past.
Author's Response: Yeah, I'm with Nora on this too. I wouldn't want people, even those I know and trust, playing around within my mind. That's disturbing stuff. But as was pointed out in an earlier chapter: It's just the fate of countless lives that are at stake. So no pressure. Glad you're enjoying this.
Date: 07 Dec 2020 16:34 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 21
It is very satisfactory to deliver Jarik a blow. But he might be more valuable than that. Even with the shields relatively ineffective, they were having a hard time finding the elder Owens and the artifact. Jarik might be able to deliver those.
Interesting kettle of fish. The attack of the Guardians is probably just what everyone there needs.
Looking forward to more Gary Seven...
Author's Response: He had that coming, didn't he? We shall see what kind of role he'll be playing moving forward.
Date: 30 Nov 2020 14:12 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 20
The return of Gary Seven!! One of my favorite mystery characters from TOS - I had fogotten all about him. And his occasionally feline companion.
Excellent blast from the past - both figuratively and literally...
I am definitely looking forward to this.
Author's Response: Yeah, Gary Seven was an intriguing character. A bit of a shame they were never able to develop his appearance into a spin-off TV show as originally planned. The character has made some other appearances in the shared universe I write in but don't worry, there'll be more of him here too.
Date: 23 Nov 2020 14:28 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 19
I kind of like this rather fierce alt-Michael. He definitely has an air of command about him - if quite possible a bit more of an unthinking brute as well.
A difficult ally to manage. A very dangerous antagonist to cross. And Michael Prime needs to keep his wits about him far more closely and make sure he knows which Star is which and how to protect the right one.
Very interesting encounter.
Author's Response: Yeah, things could get a bit confusing here. Thanks for reading and commenting.
Date: 16 Nov 2020 13:36 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 18
Garla has a point - there is nothing that appears to require her to prefer her original universe over the one she's landed in. That said, Lif is very probably right about his counter-part and the fact that Garla doesn't see that immediately is rather unhealthy.
Fairly certain she will end up high-tailing it back home (or to the next reality version) once Lif Beta starts to really come unglued.
Quite enjoying this storyline - particularly the many lives of Lif.
Author's Response: Lif clearly has some unresolved issues (don't we all) but Garla's may be far more prominent considering her ambitious plans which involved nothing less than changing the course of her people's entire society. No wonder she is trying to find new meaning in her life and this might just be an opportunity to good for her to pass up, no matter how suspicious it appears. Glad you're enjoying this storyline and thanks for the review.
Date: 02 Nov 2020 12:26 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 17
This Captain Owens appears to have a keen instinct that might serve him well if he were less monomaniacal.
It just occurred to me that the reason Owens keeps wondering why Jarik doesn't seem to be the man he knew at the academy is that Jarik might actually not be the man Owens knew at the academy. Jarik might actually have come back to his home universe.
Nice character portrait of Leva.
Author's Response: That is an interesting theory you've got there, my friend.
Date: 19 Oct 2020 12:35 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 16
Reminds me of the old adage that the optimist believes we live in the best of all possible worlds and the pessimist fears this is true. No doubt Lif will come out with a much greater appreciation for his own path - assuming, of course that he makes it out of this... Very interested to see what Garla will learn from all this. Much harder to learn when you're carrying a lot of assumptions.
Also interesting to see the difference between Garla and alt-Lif-2 in their skills as sentinals.
This is a very fun exploration into the garden of forking paths/sliders scenario. And very much a page turner.
Author's Response: It kinda sucks being Lif Culsten at the moment. I guess he's going through a bit of a gauntlet at the moment. Sure there is the physical part but more than that, what it does to his psychological well-being to be constantly faced by versions of himself that are dangerously disappointing. Glad you keep enjoying it and thanks again for the great reviews.
Date: 12 Oct 2020 11:18 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 15
Looks like Owen is in up to his hips. Nice bit of nech tech.
I can't help hearing George Takai in Altee's place "I'd like for you to think of me as your host and you as my honored guests." (A creepy voiceover he did for Avatar.) It appears Jarik has met his soulmate and Michael is paid in full for trusting him.
Looking forward to the clash of the Michaels and dancing with the Stars...
Author's Response: "Dancing with the Stars". I love that. Let me go ahead and trademark that ... oh wait. Definitely should have though of this as a chapter title or something, cuz there'll definitely be some dancing here. Well, not literally.
Date: 05 Oct 2020 12:43 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 14
Great closing line - what I call a stinger.
So the krellonians are getting their business handed to them by what was in Lif's universe a minor power. And it appears Star Fleet has given Lif some very useful leadership lessons his more powerful counterparts would have greatly benefitted from. Perhaps he is the best possible Lif after all.
I'm a fan of short, pithy chapters and this one definitely counts.
Author's Response: Yeah, Lif has some experience with tough situations. In Eagle 3 "Cry Havoc" (available at StarEagleAdventures.com) he faced his own no-win scenario. Maybe you're right, and he's the best of all worlds, as it were. Time will tell. Thanks for the great review, glad you liked this chapter.
Date: 28 Sep 2020 14:47 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 13
I like the soloquay on nostalgia - an emotion that I consider obsequiosly poisonous. Always good to see a character mistrusting it.
Also an interesting echo that romulans are sensitive to color.
A long chapter that covers a lot of territory, but a compelling read. You're definintely building a page-turner here.
And once again, nothing good comes from trusing Jarik...
Author's Response: You would think Michael Owens would have learned his lesson as far as Jarik is concerned. Some people, I suppose, are slow learners. Thanks for the continuously great feedback and glad you enjoyed this one, I appreciate it was a big one.
Date: 21 Sep 2020 13:48 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 12
Evidently overconfidence is not exclusively a human weakness. Planetary based weapons don't have the size and energy limitations that ships have. Interesting tactical situation.
The local politics are equally interesting - romulans as puppets to the nybarite. Now that's interesting.
And another cliffhanger..
Author's Response: Sentinel Culsten clearly has some major shortcomings. The Nyberrites clearly are a formidable enemy if they have the proud Romulans in their pocket. Same goes for the Klingons and many other races. Think of them like the Borg minus the cybernetics.
Date: 14 Sep 2020 12:49 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 11
Always controverial and fun when a captain leads a dangerous away mission.
Nice summation of the different Michael Owenses and almost a foregone conclusion they will come into contact. It looks like our Eagle came from a universe with a highly stressed UFP into a universe with a UFP pretty much in tatters.
Always very interesting to see different takes on the UFP - almost a end-of-empire vision. Which tracks with the UFP's birthpllace - the USA during the height of the Pax Americana.
Author's Response: Yeah, the foreshadowing is fairly obvious here, isn't it? If nothing else, there are a lot of different UFP flavors in QD.
Date: 07 Sep 2020 12:33 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 10
Having aliens mangle our human aphorisms never fails as a comic device. A good quick transitional chapter reintroducing and recapping the subspace ring/particle collider, ender of universes and reinforcing some of the ideas about the structure's purpose.
With a classic mysterious cliff hanger.
Author's Response: I just cannot help myself with these cliffhangers, as you no doubt have been able to tell.
Date: 31 Aug 2020 13:44 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 9
Like Sliders, it seems the Eagle keeps jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire. Each universe seems worse that the last - at least for the Federation.
But that's why dysopic fiction sells so well... People under pressure...
It's an interesting storytelling technique - having to deal with multiple versions of yourself and your friends, pretending to be someone who looks just like you without knowing what they know...
Author's Response: There is no denying that alternate universe stories are really quite popular at present. Much more so than I realized when I was envisioning this one. But it's also true that there is a lot of fun in getting to see all these different versions of the essential the same characters. Yes, that is certainly a key theme in this story. The idea of confronting people you know, maybe even yourself, but different because circumstances were different or they made different decisions in their lives.
Date: 24 Aug 2020 01:28 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 8
Now this is an interesting wrinkle.. It looks kind of like something that was the Federation isn't and something that wasn't the Federation is - if only a little.
It's interesting that Lif has such admiration for her and perhaps underestimates himself. It looks like he has a lot to learn about his own potential from this new version of Lif (and in retrospect from the previous one.)
And Garla is making another rash decision. Even as she has realized how easily she had been deceived by the subspace aliens, it doesn't seem she has learned much from that yet. The young learn quickly and the old are often slower to learn...
Very interesting chapter and even moreso because there isn't a single human in it. Something Star Trek rarely did but that made Babylon 5 pop pretty much every time they did it.
Author's Response: The fact about no humans is an interesting one I hadn't consciously considered, probably because the Krellonians are clearly an analogy for humans. But it does bother me a bit that Trek is always so human-centric considering that the Federation has supposed to be over 150 members in 24th century. I understand why it is made that way, and I often fall into that trap as well when writing, but in an age were diversity has become such an important part of our society, I feel Trek has missed a trick in that regard.
Date: 17 Aug 2020 13:29 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 7
Not sure whether this part of the story could be called the mismanagement of multiple Mayas or the Stars are not in alignment...
And the captain has a glass jaw. Actually, the trope of the hero who can take one punch after another is so worn out that it is rather refreshing to have a captain go down with a single punch.
And the United Federation of Planets apparently divided... Does that make one faction the Confederation of Planets?
I'm hoping we find out what that conflict is about before we exit this universe...
Author's Response: I want to give Owens credit here. He can probably hold his own in a fight. But I guess he didn't see that sucker punch coming. More info will be forthcoming, I promise. Thanks for the ongoing reviews. As always, much appreciated.
Date: 09 Aug 2020 01:18 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 6
And why do I have a feeling that the Lifs being together isn't going to end well...
Definitely keeping the mystery going and a good setup for some very interesting scenes to come.
I like Lif's concern about a jinx. I also like the other Lif's quick and accurate assessment of the situation. He is a nicely ambiguous character and nicely intelligent. Much better than an antagonist.
Author's Response: Thanks for that. Yeah, bad omens abound here, for sure.
Date: 04 Aug 2020 14:16 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 5
Actually, to a person with an admittedly armchair understanding of particle physics, the explanation of the Omega molecule and its potential effects - or at least the manufacturing process for it - sounded fairly plausible.
What advantage the destruction of universes would convey for subspace dwellers remains quite mysterious.
Double Tazla, double Culsten...
And a nice reflection on the origin of the conflict between Star and Nora.
Author's Response: Glad this made sense to you. To be honest, I had a far better and more intricate explanation for the potential death of a universe. I can't recall why it didn't make the cut. I think in the end, I wanted more action and less exposition. Although, there will certainly be more answers forthcoming.
Date: 27 Jul 2020 18:04 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 4
Oooh the plot thickens and a great cliff-hanger. Classic ending line.
Whoever the imposter(s) are, it seems they know an astounding amount about the situation on the Eagle. At the moment, I'm blaming Jarik. This is just the kind of dirty tricks SAI makes their stock in trade.
Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean it's our Jarik... Going to be interesting to see where you take this.
Author's Response: This is certainly going to complicate matters for Owens & company. Glad you are still enjoying this strange trip through the multi-verse.
Date: 19 Jul 2020 19:33 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 3
Yeah - Michael would have been better advised to trust his instincts. There was so much more they might have learned from Lif 2.0 - even a potential for parting on positive, if not friendly terms. At this point, confining Jarik to quarters would seem a reasonable precaution.
And Lif 2.0 is a very interesting character - svelt and suave. Lif prime could learn a lot of interewting things about himself just from watching video of this doppelganger.
I'm sure Jarik isn't finished making trouble...
Author's Response: I think Michael is giving this guy all this slack based on their previous friendship. After all, they were Academy roommates for 4 years or so. I think all that good will has finally run out (probably should have when he threatened to take over Eagle by force).
Date: 13 Jul 2020 15:07 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 2
This seems like a far more subtle and nuanced Lif Culsten than the two we've gotten to know. That is a really interesting feature. I'm interested to see how Lif prime is affected by exposure to alternative Lifs...
You have definitely outdone me in the destructiveness area - I have a character order the destruction of a world, but you've got an entire universe going up in smoke... Wish I had thought of that...
It looks like this timeline Federation hasn't fared so well.
Author's Response: Yeah, this will definitely have an noticeable impact on the young helmsman throughout the story. I think I went as big as one can with the idea of wiping out a universe. But then again, it's like that old saying goes. Kill m/billions and its a statistic, kill one and its a tragedy... Glad your still following this and enjoying the story. Also appreciate you going back and reading some of my older stuff. That's really cool.