Date: 24 May 2016 12:18 Title: Chapter 3
Love seeing JQ for the first time here. Chipper and good-natured as always, he provides a much needed since of grounding. Whereas there's clearly a secret being kept from him (and between Maren and Icheb), you can see how much it grates on her not to tell him.
And yet, whatever the secret is, it clearly isn't enough to NOT convince her to talk to Icheb as she finds him waiting outside her quarters. Whatever was there is still there.
Date: 20 May 2016 16:23 Title: Chapter 2
Ah, the first meeting between the two star-crossed lovers. Little did I -- or anyone for that matter -- know how much these two would influence the course of this mission.
Seeing Maren's thoughts here, among her first days aboard the ship, is perfect. The commentary about the way the ship was designed (especially this bio-neural gel packs, messy and wasteful as they are) was spot on. The engineers all in my head were all with her.
Date: 19 May 2016 17:43 Title: Chapter 1
Oh, man. This is fun. Decided this story deserved a good re-read (like any favorite book) and this first chapter is chock-full of one of Irina. She's shameless. She's flirty. She's fun. She knows what she wants and how to get it.
Looking back, I wonder how this scene would look from Icheb's point of view. His introduction here was quick, but covered all the basics (and a few extras thanks to Irina's fascination).
But the bigger question is whatever happened to Eric Bouchard? I'm curious to see if he gets mentioned ever again, because I can't remember his name coming up again ... so that means he either got redshirted or he's still around.
Date: 02 Jul 2013 00:10 Title: Chapter 24
Seeing Adele and Icheb not see eye to eye is a very-- living response. Both of them have legitimate reasoning, and both of them have a good view of the situation. Though I'm tending to side with Adele for now.
I like the retired captains not being jerks. I don't know what they can do with Beckley around, but hopefully they can offer something good to Adele. She'll need it.
Date: 30 Jun 2013 17:49 Title: Chapter 20
Icheb was an adult. Surely he could see to his own health needs.
Ha! Yeah, no. But kudos on Adele for not being overbearing. I'm totally with her on the whole children-on-starships business, too; yeah, it makes for a lonely life for officers, but it's tactically stupid on so many levels. I never got why TNG did that. It's institutionalized insanity.
I already like Keller, though, and I so sincerely hope nothing horrific befalls that family. But it almost has to, now that they've been introduced.
Date: 30 Jun 2013 17:41 Title: Chapter 19
And so goes a first contact! I'd be wary about going to see these folks, but kudos to Adele for being game and willing.
I liked seeing Icheb and Maren working together. They seem to do so very well in tandem. I'm interested in Maren's warming up slightly, it seems to not quite be wholly related to work, but time will have to tell on that one. If nothing else, though, the plot is absolutely fascinating so far.
Date: 30 Jun 2013 17:26 Title: Chapter 18
Holy Hell, Maren, way to ride him over the coals! It's funny, just how much they love each other, and yet with all of the hurt feelings flying around, there's such an awful mess of pain.
These subspace tears are something else, though. At the rate they're going, the whole universe might well end up in trouble, especially since no one's closing them. As far as I've researched (for reading this story), they aren't exactly self-healing. It seems sort of short-sighted to leave these indiscriminately all over the place.
Date: 30 Jun 2013 16:00 Title: Chapter 17
Beckley is really sort of terrifying, yes. Talk about machinations galore here. He seems to be arrogant, though, which may yet prove to be his downfall.
I can only imagine what his end game is here on this mission, but it most certainly can't be a good one.
Date: 30 Jun 2013 15:49 Title: Chapter 16
You tell him, Adele! I like how she handles things candidly, honestly. It's really damned refreshing, and it cuts through a whole lot of bullshit. Chris Pike would like this woman a lot. Jim Kirk, maybe not so much.
And man, her line about angst-filled stares? Sheer genius. I'm interested to see where it goes when Icheb goes to deal with Maren. Lord knows, he cocked it up good and proper with that one, and I know from all you and others have said that it doesn't get resolved, but the mark of a good writer is that you so totally do make me wistfully want to click the next button to see if maybe, just maybe, it'll be somehow different in the next chapter.
Date: 30 Jun 2013 15:06 Title: Chapter 15
John was kind of a jerk, earlier, though it's good that he redeems himself by the end. I suppose because it's trying to guilt-trip someone who got hurt by someone else into reconciling with them. You can kind of see the influences of his childhood on him there; peacemaker, not necessarily in the right manner.
I also liked Maren's discomfiture with the slipstream drive. With warp, you feel like you're moving. With slipstream, I'd think it'd be a whole lot more surreal.
Date: 30 Jun 2013 14:51 Title: Chapter 14
That is a Hell of a send off. I love the little touch of the ad hoc social committee, and the fact that there will be awesome partying tonight, and the breathless anticipation. And Seven and Icheb's moment was so damn sweet. It's amazing how you write such two repressed individuals, keeping them so perfectly in character, and still conveying the love they have for one another clearly and brightly.
Date: 30 Jun 2013 14:43 Title: Chapter 13
Julian's footwork is fascinating. And the solution to Icheb's attack definitely is an elegant, practical one. Knowing bits of the story, I know why he went to different doctors over the past four years. I'm waiting for Bashir to pull it all together, now.
Adele, yet again, was awesome.
Icheb's pendantic obsession with neat hair is adorable.
Date: 30 Jun 2013 14:36 Title: Chapter 12
Yes, I'd say that was a wholly fair and measured response. I can't imagine what kind of-- actually, yes, I can. An emotional nightmare of being assigned to the same ship and crew as people you love. On one hand, it definitely has its benefits, especially on an extended mission like the Tesseract is going on. On the other hand, the potential to have to see and deal with heartbreak well beyond what the service should call for is so very high.
I think, though, that Adele's answer to it was elegant, thorough and she just keeps impressing me, this captain of yours.
Date: 30 Jun 2013 14:29 Title: Chapter 11
I absolutely love Adele. She's so damn competent it's really refreshing to see. She does everything right, bang right down the list, and doesn't play games over the fact that Icheb was attacked, not even to protect him. Beckley is so damn creepy -- either he's trained in mental shielding (you'd think SI would require that) or he's not human. I can't imagine anything good can come from that one, at all.
And whoo, boy, now John is in the sling. Deserved, sure, though I hope Adele's response to his concern and actions is a measured one. She certainly seems like she'd be very good at being able to do that.
Date: 30 Jun 2013 14:10 Title: Chapter 10
I like how Adele handled that, including John's confession. I also liked John himself, and his sort of good-natured, professional and personal concern for Icheb, too. But man, the neural probe -- now that is particularly scary.
I'll be amazed if Maren O'Connor doesn't crack from the stress of this kind of thing. Icheb is stubborn to a fault, she's the only keeper of his secret, and she's also the Chief Engineer on a ship of 1500 people -- a position that weighs damn near as much as a captain's -- and on top of all of that, they're about to head off into the deep, dark unknown. Man, every chapter builds the tension. Well played, kes, well played.
Date: 29 Jun 2013 21:57 Title: Chapter 9
Well, the plot certainly thickens. Icheb's analysis is pretty good, too; they only have tiny pieces of this puzzle, not the whole thing. His pulling rank on John was rough; I'm glad he figured out the stupidity of that move before he damaged their friendship more than it had been by the mystery event that led to the split.
And then, bang. Icheb's messed up. Wow. I mean, I knew it had to be coming, but it's still kind of a shock, you know?
Date: 29 Jun 2013 21:15 Title: Chapter 8
Oh, the bane of bio-neural gel packs. I don't blame Maren, at all. But the reveal on what might just be wrong with them? Sheer genius. I love Irina's incredulous reply about someone mind-raping the computer. Absolutely brilliant, and I definitely continue to like her. I also love that Bashir was awkward and full of himself, before; it's oddly annoying and endearing, all at once.
Fascinating. And really, excellent writing, too. As a side note, I like your chapter lengths. They definitely keep the pace going.
Date: 29 Jun 2013 21:10 Title: Chapter 7
That is absolutely fascinating. And also scary. You don't do anything on a small scale, do you? Lord, a bunch of blown Borg cubes, and a subspace tear and a decimated colony. Definitely a fiery first mission for the Tesseract's crew. I am definitely looking forward to the explanation for it.
Date: 29 Jun 2013 20:56 Title: Chapter 6
Icheb really is quite charming as an XO. No wonder Pike took to him instantly; he is calm, efficient and good at it. I don't blame him for getting skittish about going out with less than a full compliment, but no doubt he'll acquit himself.
I'm having a hard time with their ages, though. It was something I've noted before, but the longer it goes on, the less it seems like they got their positions for any extraordinary means and more just for sheer intellect. Which hey, they more than deserve the accolades for that, and Icheb does have some experience... but even so, none of that experience really translates for me to the ranks they have. I mean, think about it: James T. Kirk in TOS was the youngest captain ever in Starfleet, at thirty-four years old. But here you have one XO and one division head in their what, mid-twenties? On Starfleet's best and newest ship, about to embark on an absolutely massive mission, into comparatively uncharted space. I honestly, no offense, have to wonder what lunacy actually infected the Admirals who approved it. It defies any sort of logic -- brilliance only carries a person so far; no amount of awards, no amount of test scores, no amount of innovation can possibly replace experience. And for a mission like this, particularly, you'd think they would have stacked the deck.
It honestly strikes me as a recipe for serious tragedy. Maren's experience is in a shipyard. John has at least more broad knowledge from his ship-hopping. Icheb has some from the Delta Quadrant (but not enough for the weight of that position, I don't personally think). Adele comes across as the most competent, as she should, but I can't help but wonder why even she wouldn't have said, "Sure, send me Icheb, but in a lower rank and bring me an XO who has a decade or two worth of experience."
I sort of worry for a Starfleet that awards intelligence over time, experience and hard grift. And I am absolutely fascinated to see if it pans out like it almost has to, and if Icheb and Maren are prepared for the exceptionally unforgiving lessons no amount of genius can teach you.
Date: 29 Jun 2013 20:40 Title: Chapter 5
What a pair of exceptionally screwed up kids! OMG. I loved Maren taking a stand. I also loved that she slapped him for that, though I don't usually condone violence, but he really did kind of have it coming. You can so totally see how they love each other so much, and how that ends up being their bane rather than their savior, as yet.
And I'm with Maren, man. Talk about taking away her right to make her own choices and being paternalistic.
Date: 29 Jun 2013 20:34 Title: Chapter 4
Oh, heavens, right into the fire they go. I like Adele still; her love of her husband, her thoughts on aging, and she seems to brook no bullshit from herself. But man, Maren's gonna be running ragged to deal with a ship that size and only half-staffed; talk about a nightmare, especially with comparatively untried tech. Somewhere, a hundred and some odd years earlier, Montgomery Scott shivers and doesn't know why.