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Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed [Report This]
Date: 19 Apr 2021 11:28 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 39

Love the line "Just channel the worst parts of your personality and you should be fine..." That should be on a tee-shirt somewhere.

Just a few paragraphs above that you have "thought" where it appears you meant "taught" (father teaching him how to pilot a shuttle)

And now Lif-prime gets to lead a battle against some version of Star Fleet - or so it appears at the moment. He's going to need access to some more lively Krellonian expletives for this job.

Thanks!! rbs

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 12 Apr 2021 11:46 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 38

Good quick businesslike rescue - and the thing that doesn't go to plan is the captain who authorized it...

So Michael wants to drag Dark Michael into the light... Not sure sending the doppelganger of the object of his obsession to collect him is the wisest course.

Thanks!! rbs



Author's Response: Yeah, I can see a couple of problems with this plan as well. Let's just see how it all plays out, shall we?

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 05 Apr 2021 15:29 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 37

Sci Fi just became Psi Fi...

An interesting list of previous civilizations - which holds out the question - what happened to them and could there be some of these guys still banging about in alternate universes? And if so, could they maybe lend a psionic hand, so to speak...

Thanks!! rbs



Author's Response: A lot of possibilities here, no doubt. I hadn't considered the term Psi-Fi before but it seems to me that it could be quite appropriate for at least this particular plot line.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 30 Mar 2021 13:18 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 36

I always appreciate an amusing turn of phrase - "and so, apparently, did her stomach..."

Interesting tactical calculations based on local spacetime phenomina.

The final moments of this scene with Dark Michael and Deen is rather satisfying, as is his determination to lead the away team to kill Star in person. Leaving the door wide open for someone else to take command of Alt-Eagle...

Thanks!! rbs



Author's Response: We're definitely heading for some kind of showdown. Stay tuned.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 22 Mar 2021 11:52 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 35

A kaleidoscopic travelogue of potential worlds, each deserving of a full scifi treatment. Kind of like speed-reading a pile of Robert Silverberg novels. 

It does leave me wondering what happened to Gary Seven - and what the sinesthetic burst at the end was about. I rarely see such writing, so it's nice to see a big Jackson Pollock splash of sensory perception splattered onto the page. Definitely some of your more evocative writing.

Thanks!! rbs



Author's Response: Thanks for the kind words, I definitely was going for a jarring and maybe even slightly psychedelic experience here.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 15 Mar 2021 11:29 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 34

Alt-Owens really pops as the obsessed villain - with some sense that given this universe, his obsession is understandable. I liked his threat - quite effective. Nice to be able to use your main character to create a skin-crawling villain...

Thanks!! rbs



Author's Response: As you probably have been able to tell, one of my favorite aspects of writing an alternate reality saga like this, has been the idea of recasting these guys into different roles. Nothing quite as delightful as turning a hero into a villain. I guess there's a reason these mirror universe episodes were so popular.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 08 Mar 2021 21:22 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 33

Very interesting backstory and a good excuse for indulging in it. These kinds of stories are the meat and potatoes of science fiction - alternate routes for intelligent life. 

Also nice to get more screen time with Gary Seven. Having an actor's voice come clearly through the dialogue provides some aural grounding for the scene. 

Definitely looking forward to more of this.

Thanks!! rbs



Author's Response: Bensu is no doubt a focal point of QD. One thing that makes him an interesting character to write is the fact that he doesn't appear to know much about himself, meaning we may be discovering his backstory as he does himself. Glad you continue to enjoy Gary Seven.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 01 Mar 2021 12:38 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 32

So Lif is just killing himself to get that promotion... Or is he dying for it? A tremendously fun chapter and maybe a desperately needed learning moment for Garla. 

And now Lif may be in a unique position to help the Eagle and crew - assuming he can tell which Eagle is which.

This Trek version of Sliders is turning out to be a lot of fun.

Thanks!! rbs



Author's Response: Well, I'm glad you enjoyed this chapter. Lif clearly didn't. But then again, what is the point of visiting an alternate universe if you don't get to do some funky things you would never be able to do at home?

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 22 Feb 2021 13:41 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 31

And shortly, no doubt, Owens will learn that his best friend has been kidnapped...

Very interesting reverie about the differences between alt-Owens and Owens-prime. And this Maya seems to be even more fun than Maya-prime.

Cross and double-cross.

Thanks!! rbs



Author's Response: I'm not sure if Owens would agree with you about this Maya but I guess she is a bit more lively, certainly compared to what she appeared liked the last time we saw Maya-Prime.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 15 Feb 2021 17:25 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 30

Ah the tool of spies and despots. Interesting twist that the poison is constructed of nanites - that creates some interesting possibilities. 

Which makes me wonder if this Lif bothered to poison his alter-ego - or if he underestimates him - or intends to use him in some other way...

Nice twist of events. And one that Garla should have seen coming from a mile away.

Thanks!! rbs



Author's Response: Garla really dropped the ball on this one, I agree. Let's see if she ever gets a chance to make up for this oversight.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 01 Feb 2021 11:36 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 29

That was a vibrant scene - straight from the old mirror universe from the original Trek. 

Didn't see that coming and should have - nicely done!

Thanks!! rbs



Author's Response: Being unpredictable is always a nice compliment. Glad you liked it.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 25 Jan 2021 14:01 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 27

Interesting storytelling technique through clairvoyance - a rather difficult trick. 

Very interesting that, at least from Nora's POV, the aliens seem to be targeting her. Either she is somehow a lynchpin or perhaps the weak link in the group trying to defy the clicky-aliens. 

And Garla was their point of contact for obtaining supplies. That was hinted in an earlier chapter, but the importance of it didn't come through until called back in this one.

Very twisty little plot - and kudos for working Gary Seven into it. Robert Lansing had a great career, but I would very much have liked to see him take that lead role.

Thanks!! rbs



Author's Response: This story has given me the opportunity to try something a little different as far as storytelling is confirmed on occasions. I wanted things to flow a little less linear and more chaotic. Not quite stream of consciousness but certainly something to highlight the fact that a lot of this stuff is happening in people's minds.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 18 Jan 2021 10:45 Title: Part 2 - Shattered: 28

Definitely Texas Hold'em. The confrontation between alt-Michael and Star prime did not disappoint. Nor did alt-Donners. Tremendously fun chapter. And effective use of schadenfreude with Michael and alt-Michael - a device I generally dislike, but enjoyed quite a bit in this scene. 

I'm suspecting we will see disparate pieces of this puzzle - Xylion's team and Garla and the Lifs beginning to converge as we get back to the ring. One of the most fun things in this sort of story is trying to see how the different facets in the kaleidoscope come together.

Thanks! rbs



Author's Response: Glad you enjoyed this little ruckus. And yes, there are quite a few balls in the air here and without giving anything away, it's about to get a little bit more complicated still.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
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?

Thanks!! rbs



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.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
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.

Thanks!! rbs



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.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
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. 

Thanks!! rbs



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.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
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. 

Thanks!! rbs



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.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
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. 

Thanks!! rbs



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.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report 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...

Thanks!! rbs



Author's Response: He had that coming, didn't he? We shall see what kind of role he'll be playing moving forward.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
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.

Thanks!! rbs



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.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
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.

Thanks!! rbs



Author's Response: Yeah, things could get a bit confusing here. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
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.

Thanks!! rbs



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.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
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.

Thanks!! rbs



Author's Response: That is an interesting theory you've got there, my friend.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
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.

 

Thanks!! rbs



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.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
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...

Thanks!! rbs



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.

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