Date: 12 Aug 2020 19:39 Title: Episode 9.14 - Fleet Admiral Scumuk
As far as famous last words go these were pretty ... intense. FELIX!
The reference to gamma radiation and a hulk makes me wonder if we're looking at some sort of Marvel Universe crossover here. Honestly, it probably wouldn't be the strangest things in this entirely unpredictable story of yours.
Glad you enjoyed the Fleet Admiral's demise..
I can promise you this story remains firmly rooted in the Star Trek universe and never becomes a crossover
Not Marvel (although the hulk and gamma radiation are central to the story - and Dewayne Guth was born and raised in Waconda)
Not Middle Earth (although the crew goes surfing in Numinor, meets Finrod and Sauron's Orcs show up late in the story to battle klingons)
Not Pern (although it does include a dragon rider - Ep 13.4)
Not Avatar the Last Airbender (although Justice Irons and Flight Specialist Joey Chin were both born and raised in Ba Sing Se)
Not Foundation (although special agents from the Trantor Police Dept. become important characters)
And then there's Santa's Workshop... (Ep 13.12)
I just really enjoy throwing curve balls... Thanks!! rbs
Date: 12 Aug 2020 19:33 Title: Episode 9.13 - Tauk's Notes
Interesting, so this place wasn't the Library at all, instead it's an entirely different, mich more mysterious place. Well that had me fooled. I'm a sucker for good treasure hunt though, so I'm game for this.
Poor Tauk though is on borrowed time and may not get to see the end of this journey.
2 libraries for the price of 1...
It's been a long time since you read Episode 1 - Flash Forward, but that is actually a scene from Episode 20 (told from a different POV) and Tauk is in it, so you know he makes it as far as Episode 20...
Date: 10 Aug 2020 20:55 Title: Episode 9.12 - The Moon/Sun/Kim Upgrades
Bit of a slow burn on the virus plot but clearly progress is being made.
I have to admit I've totally missed that Dr. Kim is a hologram.
The Hunter carries three holograms - Hunter (the avatar), the EMH (Dr. Raj) and the Tactical Medical Hologram (Dr. Kim) who was ejected from the tactical unit because her programming was contaminated.
Kenny rescued Dr. Kim in an EVA mission - retreiving her data carte - which action just keeps paying off as she becomes an incrasingly important character.
Date: 10 Aug 2020 20:51 Title: Episode 9.11 - Destim Ski
Fascinating creatures, these waterbirds, if you forgive the pun. The idea of talking birds is of course not far fetched at all, but there intelligence puts them more on the level of other intelligent avian species.
I recall seeing some video of parrots behaving very intelligently - correclty naming objects, describing colors and asking for things they wanted with surprisingly clear voices.
The spookiest of these was a parrot that said "I want to go back." It meant it wanted to ride on the researcher's back. But it sounded like the bird was being nostalgic - which was just totally creepy.
Date: 09 Aug 2020 09:58 Title: Episode 9.10 - A Sample of Mlady
Looks like progress is being made. Feel bad for poor Tauk.
Yeah - he's in for a rough time. I wanted to explore a character who refuses life saving medical care for ethical reasons.
Date: 09 Aug 2020 09:54 Title: Episode 9.9 - Denobulan Nail Care
Okay, I though the nail care thing was a joke. Apparently not.
Love Birlaura reflection on the Denobulan's initial impression of humans and how different the galaxy was back in those days. I can totally see that Earth didn't have the greatest reputation when they first joined the intergalactic community.
And look at them now, practically running things.
I was a little concerned about the timeline, but I think it sounds about right. I knod of like the irony that species that considered humans to be dangerous pests are now sheltering under their military muscle. Emory Ivonovic will have a thing or two to say about that...
I'm glad the nail care caught you off guard. Part of the fun of this series is teasing the absurd and then going there.
Date: 08 Aug 2020 10:33 Title: Episode 9.8 - Fleet Admiral Scumuk's Notes
Memory Alpha, this is not. This feels much more like one of those ancient libraries once comes across in fantasy literature. Which makes this much more atmospheric.
The task of studying tomes of writing feels much more cerebral than what these guys usually do, but they are clearly up to the task. After all, old-school investigative work often means, quite literally, doing a lot of reading and studying.
There is a touch of Scooby Doo and a little bit of Homocide, Baltimore to this scene. I used Memory Alpha and Beta as references, but pretty much went my own way with the Star Trek universe.
I'm glad you called out the scrappy tactical team having to crack the books and translate vulcan ciphers - in the Vulcan language - for a massive detective job. That's the "and other duties as assigned" part of their job descriptions.
Date: 08 Aug 2020 10:28 Title: Episode 9.7 - The Sanctuary of the Waterbirds
Yeah, damned fine piloting with an flawless landing tagged on.
But the main attraction here are clearly those beautifully described caverns and those hyper-intelligent animals which I suppose, might as well be called fully sapient inhabitants .
Really glad you liked this one! One of the reasons I set out to write this series was a number of fantastic locatiosn I wanted to explore. Among them, the Sanctuary of the Waterbirds on Cophus II. And eventually, you will witness those birds singing...
This story will also eventually take you to Numinor, Ba Sing Se, Trantor and Pern - without ever becoming a crossover story or leaving the Star Trek universe...
Date: 06 Aug 2020 20:24 Title: Episode 9.6 - Doctor, Lawyer, Boss
Just struck me that this series really is about people who are many things. And by that I don't not just mean multi species hybrids.
Boles' story is pretty darned dark and depressing. I guess I can forgive him for some of his antics.
People are complicated. And deeply wounded characters are fun to write.
Everyone has baggage. Napoleon Boles has freight.
Glad you're enjoying him! Thanks!! rbs
Date: 06 Aug 2020 20:16 Title: Episode 9.5 - Representing Dr. Blue
I'm not sure if this makes me more worried about Boles or Mlady. Perhaps I should be concerned for anybody Mlady could get her claws on (in?) if her appetite isn't sated.
They both have a way of taking care of themselves...
Glad you're enjoying the story! Thanks!! rbs
Date: 05 Aug 2020 19:32 Title: Episode 9.4 - Section 31
A doubly unexpected encounter here with a good portion of whacky humor thrown in.
Irons it seems is quite the Renaissance Woman. She knows everybody and has dabbled in everything, even that which is unknown to the majority of her peers. A formidable woman, no doubt. And now on a secret mission for a shady intelligence outfit.
Well.. she is almost 160 years old - she's been around... Which makes her a fun character to write. I'm glad you enjoyed her banter with Riker - and it was a bit fun to write Riker too.
Date: 05 Aug 2020 19:23 Title: Episode 9.3 - Patient Zero
And this dude is calling Denobulans annoying.
I haven't quite made up my mind yet if I'm impressed or irritated with Boles. I think I might lean towards the latter.
Sounds like you've got Boles spot on... He's going to test the limits of Plesc's optimism.
Date: 04 Aug 2020 20:35 Title: Episode 9.2 - Secret Agent Dolphin Kenny Dolphin
A nice bit of James Bond humor.
I'm assuming Dolphin is trying to have fun with this, but still, the first rule of being a secret agent, don't tell anyone you're a secret agent. Oh well, it's not as if Ivovich doesn't already know who he works for.
And how about those amorous Denobulans? Always a riot.
I borrowed that trope from Douglas Adams, who borrowed it from Monty Python...
Yeah - Dolphin's not so much incognito as low key. Being a famous (or rather infamous) man, he wants to avoid his detractors. But denobulans and bolians are unlikely to be unpleasant to him.
Glad you're enjoying my flirtatious denobulans! They are a fun, light hearted lot. A good break from all the viral doom and gloom.
Date: 04 Aug 2020 20:26 Title: Episode 9.1 - The Scumuk Virus
I agree. The outrage over that name is justified. Not at all professional. If our contemporary medical community can come up with SARS and COVID, Starfleet should be able to do better than the Scumuk Virus.
And Pepper left an impression? Yeah, I bet he did.
Not an easy guy to foget..
I have adjusted various character descriptions at the recommendation of an Asian American writer who was concerned about a number of cliches - while at the same time happy that my lead character is Chinese. I also changed the spelling of Investigator Buttons to Buttans - I was fielding a few questions about having a black character named Buttons (it's a bajoran family name that has nothing to do with clothing.)
I will also soon be inserting a new 2.1 to give the story a better start - which means renumbering all the subsequent scenes in Ep 2. At the recommendation of a few other writers, I also plan to add a few scenes to Episodes 27 and 28. I have corrected the spellings of Risa and Khitomer (I still need to standardize Qo'noS.)
Thanks again for the reviews - they are greatly appreciated! rbs
Date: 30 Jul 2020 19:58 Title: Episode 8.18 - The Bolian Web: A Dangerous Assignment
Darned, I had hoped for some answers on this mysterious Bolian-killing virus and the equally blizzard library reference. I guess I've got to keep reading. You suppose you've got me hooked well done.
As for Dolphin's mission, this too sounds like a most interesting undertaking. It's not exactly as if he can go undercover, Ivonvich knows who he is and who he works for. Very curious to see how that will unfold and if it can bring Hunter's crew any closer to nabbing the elusive former governor.
Another splendid entry in this increasingly enigmatic saga.
...And roll teaser credits for Kenny Dolphin's upcoming secret agent scene...
Every mystery from Scooby Doo to Avatar the Last Airbender has a spooky, mysterious library. Like the Great Mushroom, the Library was one of the ideas I had in mind long before I started writing the series.
Oh.. And roll teaser credits for Emory Ivonovic being brought to Earth... Well that's a ways off, but not too far.
Date: 29 Jul 2020 19:54 Title: Episode 8.16 - The Bolian Web: The Case for Quarantine
Your favorite term in one of the earlier stories was 'mushroom'. Here it's one which I'm sure is a challenger for longest word in the English language and which both trips me up and causes me to grin each time.
Here's to 'quadropseudoprozadiazomine'.
I toyed with the idea of naming it once and then having everyone refer to it as QPD, which would be more believable, but not as funny. I just really liked the look of that big, awkward word sprawling across the page.
Like everything else in STH, it will be back for an encore...
Date: 29 Jul 2020 19:45 Title: Episode 8.15 - The Bolian Web: Rescuing Dr. Kim
I really like Irons and Shae's relationship. I'm sure there is an unwritten rule somewhere that every good starship captain must have at least one old buddy on board.
And none better than the ship's doctor. Tali is kind of a female McCoy... With antennae.
Glad you're enjoying them!
Date: 28 Jul 2020 20:28 Title: Episode 8.14 - The Bolian Web: Hot Spots
Yeah, just occurred to me that it's great the Bolians are out in force to help out but it may not the the smartest choice considering they're up against a Bolian-killing virus.
And, wow, didn't see Kelley's sudden death coming at all. Delivered in a very matter of fact kinda way too. Nicely done. I feel for Mata, I'd be freaked out too.
Glad you liked the demise of Captain Kelley. Thus ends the illustrious line of Jonathan Archer...
As for the bolians - they are not amused...
Date: 28 Jul 2020 20:20 Title: Episode 8.13 - The Bolian Web: B.W.S.V.
A bit heavy on exposition here but I appreciate the insight into the Bolians, a race that was never really explored much in canon.
I think I can improve this one - I'll add it to the list. I'm going back and adjusting a few things here and there to make for a better read and reviewing this one it redas a little clunky to me too.
The exposition is needed for later developments, but I can probably lose the BWSV.
Date: 26 Jul 2020 19:52 Title: Episode 8.12 - The Bolian Web: Infected Units
Okay, that was a bit bizarre. But then again, with this crew, that has become fairly normal.
Mlady has been hunting Dolphin since he arrived, wanting to add him as a food source. Which comes with big benefits and big drawbacks. This is kind of her last attempt to catch him. She is very much a random generator of weird...
Date: 26 Jul 2020 19:46 Title: Episode 8.11 - The Bolian Web: Jamming Buoys
Hunter is basically trying to stop waves in an endless ocean. A near impossible task. Good thing they just got some help.
I like how it's not Starfleet this time around but what appears to be the Bolian Fleet. Always made sense to me that most Federation worlds would have their own, homegrown forces as well. Great detail.
I found some writings by the original ship designers about what N.C.C. 1701 means. 1701 means the first ship of the 17th design. The original designers wrote that all Star Fleet ships were the property not of the Federation, but of United Earth Governments and were built under a contract with the United States Navy. On rare occasion, the original series and STNG would reference ships owned by Federation membrer governments, but those series relied on scale models that were really expensive so you rarely saw such ships - only a pickture of a tellerite on the viewscreen at a really tight angle so they wouldn't have to build much of a set.
Glad you appreciated the appearance of the Bolian Web Service Vessels. Thanks!! rbs
Date: 26 Jul 2020 19:38 Title: Episode 8.10 - The Bolian Web: Computer Virus
A civilization killer? This virus is a tad worse than I imagined.
Clearly designed my a madman. Problem is, a very, very smart madman. And those are just the worst.
Poor Admiral Scumuk... what a way to end a heroic career...
Thanks again! rbs
Date: 26 Jul 2020 19:34 Title: Episode 8.9 - The Bolian Web: Carved in Stone
Computer viruses transmitted via comms? Yeah, I can see that and how that makes thing more complicated. Boles solution is pretty ingenious though. Very old school, that is, if cavemen would have had access to directed energy weapons.
Napoleon is the complete opposite of Irons, Carrera and Dolphin. He doesn't break the rules so much as make up his own rules.
Glad you're enjoying my cantankerous bolian... Thanks!! rbs
Date: 23 Jul 2020 20:30 Title: Episode 8.8 - The Bolian Web: Crew of the Atul Goel
Ah, so now we've got motive for all these shenanigans. Still at a complete loss how and who though. Surely Ivonovic isn't behind this. His gripe is with hybrids not Bolians.
You're pretty spot on - Ivonovic's relationship to this issue (and the Breakfast Killer) is very tangential.
Thanks again for reading and commenting!!