Date: 23 May 2009 13:53 Title: Chapter 1
My gosh that was dark. It asked so many questions too that demand answers. Who were these new masters? What became of the Federation? Why did McCoy accept his suicide mission, when he valued life above all esle? The fact the story does so, bespeaks of its ability to enrapture the readers.
The situation is vague and when revealed is done so only piecemeal and with little detail that it still poses questions. However, the troubling descent of Kirk and our heroes into this murky world is interesting to read. It really is within Kirk's character to become this person if circumstances were different. In a way, Kirk sacrificed a part of himself in order to continue the fight; a fight he believed was for the greater cause but at great cost too his soul, his friendships and crew.
The flashbacks to the past were rivetting and yet did not dwell on the pivotal matters. Simply moments one might wish to remember. I loved the dance scene and the crew's reaction to Spock dancing with the reporter. It was fun and light and very observant. Wonderful to see the various reactions and interactions, in particular how Kirk and Uhura skirted certain matters and took to the floor with certain intentions. A lot of simmering emotional undertones and terrific writing there. Well done Anna. A wonderous journey into a dark alternative.
Author's Response: You know, it's funny how people react. Personally, I thought the ball scene was the weakest point in the story, so it was a surprise people liked it. Well, nice surprises happen too. ;-) Yes, the tale's deliberately vague. I don't have the skill of you expanded/alternate universes' writers to build the whole thing. :D I was more interested in seeing people's reactions to the dire circumstances than defining who the enemy was. This story is like a twisted nightmare put into words. And in the dreamworld we often just know something without seeing the details. Thank you for taking time to read and review!;-)
Date: 01 Apr 2009 23:21 Title: Chapter 1
That was an incredibly insightful look into the malevolent side of Jim Kirk. While we mostly saw his good and noble side in TOS, it was plain that this evil was lurking just under the surface. We saw glimpses of it when the transporter twinned him; when he allowed Spock to be blinded; in the things he said to Spock when trying to anger him to neutralize the effects of the spores; when he chose men under his command to die; the way he would snap and fume if things weren't done or weren't going exactly as he planned. We also saw this manipulative side of his personality, but it was more benign, tempered with affection, concern, empathy. Not so here. And as much as we admire him for his goodness, it is just as easy to see this evil surface within the parameters you paint. And this aspect of one's personality is what often makes great and capable leaders, able to make the tough and unpopular decisions when necessary. However, they must find a way to balance that evil side, or they become despots, murderers, sadistic madmen. Jim Kirk did that in TOS, but unfortunately was not able to manage it in this tale. A really masterful job. It was dark, and gritty...and exceptional!
Author's Response: Thank you, Cuppy. I believe the point I was trying to make was that real life doesn't act like that malfunctioning transporter, but rather creates circumstances which force people to make conscious selections -- what to save, what to let go. Jim's choices here seem consistent with Jim to me, in all respects. It's often tempting to say, 'I will be good later, when I can afford it.' The sad truth is that this 'later' either never comes, or there's nothing good left by the time it does. Admittedly, it was Spock here who sent the chasm in motion, because unlimited power is probably the last thing one would wish to tempt Jim Kirk with, even at the best of times. Spock knew better than to play with fire, but did it anyway, and in the end paid the price for it. The sad thing is that in the end he probably still thought it was worth it. Sorry, a minor case of rambling. ;-) I'm glad you found the story readable.
Date: 01 Apr 2009 13:04 Title: Chapter 1
Ooh, this intrigued me right from the beginning when I saw the keyword "dark AU" in the header. Kirk's attitude toward crew deaths makes me think of his experiences on Tarsus -- it's likely he would have been forced to adopt a similar distance there -- and also a little of the side of Kirk we saw in the beginning of ST:TMP. So despite the radical differences between this world and the rather cheerful, optimistic Trek universe, the changes you made to the characters and their relationships come across as very convincing and fitting into canon as we know it.
Kirk's memories of the conversation concerning Peter and of Spock's perceptiveness were almost painful to read. So wonderful to hear their banter (you captured their voices beautifully), yet so painful to know that not only is Spock dead, Kirk about to die (unless I misinterpreted) but that their friendship died a long time ago.
I like how you alternated present and past events, the pieces of the puzzle coming together slowly, giving just enough information to know what's happened to the characters and why. It's interesting to see that in the end, Spock was the more sensitive, the one more vulnerable to pesky emotions than his Human captain, whereas Kirk is portrayed as someone who will achieve survival at any cost... Wonderful, engaging story, great worldbuilding and characterisation. One I'll definitely re-read again and again because I feel it has so many layers and provides much food for thought.
Author's Response: Thank you! This story was a bit of digging into 'what if', which is generally the best way to explore the characters and the limits they could reach in different cicumstances. Yes, Jim isn't a knight in shining armor, but neither is Spock an innocent victim. Actually, I'd venture that the most decent person in the whole story is Miira.:) Thank you very much for your thoughtful comments, it means a lot to me that the story gives the readers something to chew on. Thank you!
Date: 01 Apr 2009 12:48 Title: Chapter 1
Ooooh I ADORED this story. I have a thing for dark stories anyway, and this one was just perfect. The ending was my favorite scene. I love the image of Kirk being restrained and screaming... uhmmm. lol. Wonderful story, truly wonderful!!!
Author's Response: LOL. Poor Jim, people rarely sympathize with him. :-) Thank you, I'm glad you've enjoyed the story. ;-)
Date: 01 Apr 2009 05:49 Title: Chapter 1
A rather fascinating character study of the mental breakdown of Kirk, one that both ties to canon AND makes sense in the context of the AU. And I'm a sucker for grim AUs, so this was quite enjoyable.
What I enjoyed the most were the decisions you made in the context of world building - we know that a major war took place that completely changed the landscape of the setting from the one in canon, but the details are left far and few between. The only solid ones are mentioned in passing by characters (from which we can tell that it was especially nasty, but we don't have a lot of information beyond that), letting the overall war fade into the background while our attention is focused on the escalating and increasingly horrific war brewing between the characters.
Author's Response: Thank you. Your words mean a lot to me since your darker MU sketches fascinate me so much. ::shakes her head:: I don't know. I wanted this to be realistic. I didn't want to depress people, just to explore. And you are correct, I let the details of the war slide, since they were but a background. That's a first for me, too, writing in broad but vague context and not nailing it down with a plot. ::snorts:: Didn't feel like my field. Anyway, I'm glad if it was enjoyable. Thank you for commenting!
Date: 01 Apr 2009 00:41 Title: Chapter 1
Nice, very nice.
:::grins:::Iīm sorry, I canīt help it....
I could fill a page saying what I like from your story. Really.The characters, the details that give reality to a work of fiction...
After reading it, my mood was really high. A strange outcome for a story where everybody... OK, no spoilers. LOL
Author's Response: ::chuckles:: Well, strange you might be, my friend, but I'm glad you liked it. ;-) Thank you.
Date: 31 Mar 2009 22:18 Title: Chapter 1
I love it, but you already know that. It's dark, it's in character and it's got a whole ton of things for the mind to chase after in it.
Author's Response: You say this so rarely that I don't think I'll ever tire of hearing it when you do feel like saying it. LOL. In short, thank you. ;-)