Date: 01 Jun 2013 22:49 Title: Chapter 5
Merote herbs... I think you are the only author who has explored drug use amongst the Bajoran resistance. But it would be inevitable giving how hard conditions would be, but if so many resistance fighters were using these drugs, you wonder if that further set back the resistance's efforts to attack the Cardassians and try to remove them from Bajor.
And it looks like Arnit has betrayed everyone and given away the Lambda Paza's position to the Jem'Hadar. Already this first mission is going to end up as a disaster!
“Ah, yes, typical Starfleet officer who is hoping some kind of wedge can be driven between the Dominion and the Cardassians,”
Yeah! This is so true of Starfleet officer's thinking. But Kozar has no idea how Dukat and the Cardassians cannot possible backout of the Dominion now. It is too late and if Dukat did such a move, he would be removed and the Dominion would further their grip and control of the Cardassian government and military. While a revolt would be catastrophic for the Cardassians, though perhaps in the early stages of this war it could result in the rapid collapse of the Dominion. But then the Dominion would just go about exterminating the Cardassians...
So wishful thinking Kozar!
Date: 01 Jun 2013 21:58 Title: Chapter 4
I think of all the chapters where our new captain gets introduced to his/her ship. I think Limis has one of the more unique introductions. I mean she has the experience, she is a very resourceful woman, and all of that. But she is unfamiliar with a larger vessel, yet she knows how to command people, so Limis enters her captaincy role with quite the mix of strengths and weaknesses. Her problem are the senior staff, because when trouble comes she is sure going to improvise and undoubtedly break dozens of Starfleet protocols and regulations. Actually make that hundreds!
And poor Logan! That guy was a real old grump when he saw him on TNG, and so strict and almost arrogant! He was a douche but I do appreciate his position and having Tarlazzi as a thorn on his side is the last thing Logan wants. Good thing Rebecca reminded Tarlazzi of that! And my God! It is incredible to see our main characters now, your series really does take them on a journey!
Last but not least there is Aurellan. At first when I read your series I thought she was a pretty average character who while not good was not bad either. But it is that lack of personality which intrigues me and her Asperger syndrome which makes her a rather unique character. In a way she kind of discovers her humanity over the course of the Dominion war. And there is the new EMH, the one which Aurellan will eventually date after this EMH goes through some extensive modifications! Or wait, was that another EMH type entirely?
Finally the Lambda Paz is off! So a great chapter! Brief, to the point and lots of impact!
Author's Response: Yes, there's a lot of good character establishment going on here. Regarding the EMH, the Mark III in Year 2 is the one Aurellan dates, while the one here is the Mark II--played by Andy Dick in "Message in a Bottle" (don't get me started on how many douchey characters that actor has played).
Date: 01 Jun 2013 21:45 Title: Chapter 3
These little small touches and aspects really work well with this story. Like Kozar being the last to shake Limis' hand when she was on the bridge of the Lambda Paz, all of this subtly adds up to the tension between Limis and the rest of the senior staff. So already this feels like Voyager what with the tension between the Maquis and Starfleet.
That scene with Dukat and Weyoun was very foreshadowing and illuminating. This is the first instance where Weyoun is keeping Dukat out of the loop, and the first sign of a Dominion trampling over the wishes of its Cardassian ally. Dukat now knows Cardassian and the Dominion are not pact brothers, it is now the Dominion who are really running the show. So I think somewhere deep down inside, Dukat is regretting his decision to side with the Dominion. So this scene explains some of Dukat's hints to Damar that they are going to take on the Dominion.
Though this seems pretty crazy considering how the Dominion ships probably outnumber the Cardassian ships. And Dukat plans to do when the wormhole becomes open to. So how Dukat plans to defeat thousands of Jem'Hadar ships which will come pouring out of the wormhole should Cardassia betray the Dominion beggers belief. I guess Dukat was just a crazy megalomaniac all along!
The chase scene with the Defiant was nice. The line;
“I can compensate if I lock in on anything organic. Modesty be damned.”
Was great and really made me laugh. Especially when O'Brien beamed over the now naked Bajoran man! Fire Caves kind of transporter sorcery indeed!
Author's Response: In the case of Dukat, he seemed willing to let a few things despite Damar's complaints. He even backed off rather quickly Weyoun invoked the non-aggression treaty between Bajor and the Dominion. Also glad you noticed Limis's similarities to Sara Connor in the previous chapter's comments, with the "transporter sorcery" being another nod to the Terminator movies.
Date: 01 Jun 2013 21:36 Title: Chapter 2
You know I find it really funny that for a ship that was not designed for war, the Lambda Paz can take an incredible beating and get away! It has faced so many battles so I guess the Prophets must have been watching over Limis all that time!
This chapter feels very much like that of Voyager's Caretaker when Janeway is down on that New Zealand penal colony trying to persuade Tom Paris to come aboard Voyager. But this chapter did it a lot more better and having Sisko to persuade Limis was a big help to.
Right now Limis feels like this Sarah Conner figure. She is dangerous, she wants revenge, yet deep down she is nursing terrible traumas and is desperate to track down her son.
As for Kozar, I love his reaction when he gets denied that captaincy he so deserved. For once I can agree with Jellico to a certain extent, and that's a rarity!
Author's Response: More precisely, the LP was a class of ship originally earmarked for exploration, but priorities quickly changed. Also glad you recognized one of the similarities to the Voyager pilot. There's also a tie-in to The Motion Picture where they're supposed to launch 12 hours even though Scotty says that's not possible.
Date: 01 Jun 2013 21:29 Title: Chapter 1
And so it begins! I like how you pick up the pieces with some of DS9 characters. So it is a smooth move how the first story has some great cameos of Sisko, Worf and others.
And Jellico, he is so going to be annoyed when Sisko's recommendation for Limis becomes passed! But Sisko is right, you need out-of-the-box thinkers. I do wonder if Jellico personally told Kozar that he would be in command of the Lambda Paz, and so when Kozar did not get the job, I bet my life that Jellico told Kozar to give Limis a really hard time. Just so that Limis would snap and her commission relinquished and so that Kozar could finally get the captaincy he was robbed of.
As for Arnit... I'm surprised he betrayed the good guys (Federation and Klingons) by siding with the Dominion. I've forgotten why Arnit has done this but he is one messed up guy!
Author's Response: Hmmm, that's an interesting theory regarding Jellico. It just stood to reason since Kozar had already a smaller ship. That mini-intrigue was mostly meant to mirror the first New Frontier novel where Shelby is certain she'll get command of the Excalibur, having been that ship's XO the last five years, until she is informed that her ex-fiance was getting the center seat.
Date: 01 Jun 2013 20:38 Title: Prologue
I'm reading this story again just for the fun of it and having read the first two seasons of Lambda Paz. I decided to read the first story to see how it all started!
I love the brief glimpse we get of a much younger Limis and how things were more simpler back then. While conditions were brutal and Limis was already pretty scared, I like the bit of;
For now, the Occupation was light years away. For now, the young couple truly felt content. Their service to Bajor would resume tomorrow, but for now, they could have one thing for themselves.
Such simple pleasures are the only pleasures Limis has and it really saddens me to see just how pear-shaped her marriage with Arnit went. Limis was so devoted but Arnit; he couldn't manage the darkness as Limis could. Having read Across Two Universes, I see now where things truly went wrong. While Limis regretted many things she did, she always tried to be the best person she could be; sticking with Arnit, raising their son and that sort of thing. Whereas Arnit... I think he could not escape his personal demons and it messed him up to such a degree that not even Limis' love or his son could shed some light to his darkness.
Which explains why Arnit became so messed up with Limis and beat her. To her credit Limis stuck by him, but even love was not enough and it's sad.
Having read through Kozar's first scene of this series. I can understand why he feels like a more polite version of Jellico. For one thing Jellico was his former commander, and Kozar is very by-the-book, formal and sometimes a pain in the ass, so no wonder he takes after Jellico and no wonder he could not stomach Limis for many weeks after she became captain of the Lambda Paz.
The extended scene with the return journey with Sisko and the last few surviving Maquis members was rousing stuff. That was a great way of introducing the reader to the friendship between Rebecca and Limis, and it was very raw to. Something which I have always liked about your style of writing, there sometimes is no build-up or grandiose explanation for it, it just happens. And that I feel is a very realistic way of writing such things without making it into a great big melodrama.
Date: 30 May 2013 15:57 Title: Chapter 15
We press on and more adventures await.
The last chapters are short but then your style in this episode is keeping things short and to the point not unlike a certain doctor or former Maquis now starship captain. I know I'd love more detail at time, an expansion of some scenes and delving into the emotional undercurrents of the characters and refining some of the nuances of the characters. However, at other times the delivery in parse tones is very telling and in its own way very effective and of course adds to the breakneck speed of things in the story. We get whisked along briskly with the story and press on with things. And whilst the crew seems to have unified somewhat as a collective hold there's enough questions and trust issues remaining among some, especially a reluctant XO to captain that one hopes the richness of the premise is not swept under the carpet as in VOY. Looking forward to reading more Lamba Paz tales in the correct chronological order.
Date: 30 May 2013 15:52 Title: Chapter 14
“Are you sure you weren’t a psychologist by day when you were a terrorist by night?” she jokingly asked.
Ha! No, just a plain good ole friend is she. And yes, Arnit's motivations are unclear but it seems to ring true to life that the things people do don't always make sense - even when seeking revenge at any cost.
Date: 30 May 2013 14:57 Title: Chapter 13
“Getting-the-hell-out-of-here maneuver confirmed,” she said. I love some smart ass sass like that. Especially as you don't overdo it or have it coming out every other line as such would undoubtedly cause a break down of protocol and communication on a bridge. Rationing it out makes it all much more effective.
Likewise, it is refreshing to read your break neck battles and the pitch and flow of them flux so much. And of course, the media additions do actually lend to the proceedings. Very clever and very savvy.
And not the ending I expected for Arnit.
Date: 30 May 2013 14:49 Title: Chapter 12
Oh man. Ok, ok, First liked the beginning lull with Logan and Tarlazzi not finding peace with one another but able to work on something together and avoiding pushing hot topics is a step in the right direction for the morale and unity of the crew. Hope just this isn't a sign of things getting too rosey too soon.
However, we get the reveal then of the problems they have with the beamed on Dominion bugs and it shows that they have indeed been part of some sort of ploy. Who lies behind it? It looks like it is Kozar or Arnit to me but that will have to wait to see.
Date: 30 May 2013 14:42 Title: Chapter 11
Apprehensions all round and of course we know rightly so. This is a simple chapter for setting up the pieces of the chess board before what I imagine is going to be a firestorm ender. It has to be pointed out that you use the set up though to lay out some neat character interactions and of course put the heat up under the mole plot. Again, we're left waiting to know who is behind it and given that it is an old Maquis trick does that mean it's a former Maquis, someone trying to make it look like a Maquis member or someone a Founder trying to play afoul with the ship's set up to further destablise the Federation's plan. Even with a bad feeling about things there is no way of avoiding walking into a trap here. This is going to prove very interesting.
Date: 30 May 2013 14:27 Title: Chapter 10
Nice to see the wary Maquis fighter can seem something off about the whole scenario. If it were another character and story I might be inclined to think it was a bit of a stretch or whizz kid working out of a trap but not here. Limis has had the experience of being hunted, baited and trapped, of being the underdog and always expecting the worse case scenario so that makes her able to be more introspective about how things have gone down and to question the perceived reality. It works for the character and her background and of course after the previous chapter perhaps she is also looking for fault outside of herself. And it is noteworthy that it is to Rebecca she turns to raise her questions. She trusts her former Maquis fighter comrade rather than confiding in Morrison or Kozar and of course after the dream has raised her concerns neither does she confide in Arnit.
And then, we turn to our lovers and just when I thought ugh this is going to have them profess their love, ladda da you pull the rug on the relationship by Mandel being a prig and Carson calling him out on his crap and kicking him out.
Date: 30 May 2013 14:19 Title: Chapter 9
Ah, so the machinations of the Dominion begin to clarify here as Weyoun and Dukat spell it out. And how nice as the reader to have the devious plan outlined by these two fiends.
Back on the ship, there was a lot happening in the aftermath. We of course see lots of Markalis eccentricities in it all but whatever is about her we find her a very fascinating little read of a character. Something very much stands out about her - I suppose it is the fact she is not the conventional and stands out in comparison to others.
Onto your other stellar character, Limis and how she reacts to being dressed down by her XO and security chief. Perhaps it is telling that Kozar and Morrison had cause to question the captain's choices and she does seem to fly the handle quicker than is probably proper. She didn't hear them out and obviously did not like the idea of being corrected - probably because she knows herself the cost of some of those decisions.
That said, nothing then excuses Kozar's attitude and how he chooses to repsond to the captain. There's something very dangerous about his lack of respect and following the chain of command (and how hypocritical given his regulations mantra) because when it comes to the crunch will he follow the captain's orders or will he defy or question them causing delay and death. Sets it all up for an almighty tense clash here towards the last leg of the story.
Author's Response: Yeah, some of the doctor's eccentricities are shown in bits and pieces, but for now, they are a few instances here and there of social awkwardness. I had intended here to base Morrison's second-guessing as similar to McCoy just being around to complain. Kozar's hypocrisy, at the time of this story's publishing, roughly parallels real-life events of the time--those same pundits getting worked up about a fictional movie depicting the assassination of George W. Bush would turn a deaf ear to "jokes" about assassinating Barack Obama. It's a double-standard that takes Kozar a while to realize.
Date: 30 May 2013 13:58 Title: Chapter 8
Oh a nice thrilling action set piece with advancing Jem'Hadar soldiers and ships zoning in. I liked it very much. Nothing too laboured about it and we got everyone in on the action and showing some wee glimpse sketch of their character into the bargain. Limis coming out with Spock's line, getting pulled on it not being Bajoran and retorting 'If it works, use it' seems an even more apt saying by which she chooses to live as a Bajoran, Maquis member and now a Starfleet captain.
Lots of action happening here but you carry it all off in a clear fashion so we have a strong sense of what is happening and who is where and what needs to happen next. Not the easiest thing to do and certainly not in as parse a description as you provide. Well done stuff.
Date: 30 May 2013 13:40 Title: Chapter 7
The Jem'Hadar make their move. Why the strange orders from the Founders to only monitor unless it is a case that a changeling really is on the ship. Still seems a distinct possibility.
It has to be said that I like the subtle little touches of humour to this that runs throughout - especially Arnit running to the chair of the XO when he sees him making a beeline to it. Hee, hee. Funny but also points to all the different factions that are all aboard this ship a powder keg in and of itself nevermind the fact they are about to jumped upon by the Jem'Hadar.
Date: 30 May 2013 13:30 Title: Chapter 6
So they've entered the nebula and to all intents and purposes things do not look good, even with Limis pulling her Maquis tricks the Jem'Hadar are on their trail. The question remains as to what is the ultimate aim of the Founders here and how will things pan out since Limis doesn't do the Starfleet thing and call in for support.
And again, it is worth pointing again that Ronnie's actions are very suspicious here. I'm surprised that Morrison is willing to go along with such counter orders given the Changeling possibility. Should he not at least bring his concern or the overriding of the captain's orders to the captain herself? I'm intrigued as to what Ronnie's motives are and indeed open to the possibility that you are trying to hoodwink us with a red herring.
But the set up here is such that I want to keep on reading and figure all of this out and see how Limis and crew manage whatever crisis is possibly headed their way.
Author's Response: Hey, MF, glad you're getting back to this story even if it has been a long while. Yes, it is a bit of a red herring given how the story has turned out. It may take a while to respond with these new reviews coming in at a fast pace.
Date: 02 May 2012 08:04 Title: Chapter 15
An excellent introduction into the universe of Lambda Paz. I loved the action sequencies, they were well written. Limis is a well rounded and developed character. I especially loved the fact that her former spouse was a traitor and that everyone else suspected him but she was blind. Good piece of writing.
Author's Response: Hope you enjoy the subsequent stories. And I often hear that these kinds of high-stakes stories are made stronger when making the situation more personal for one of the heroes. There's also a certain irony that while Limis divorced Arnit years ago, whatever part of her is still in love with him was awfully quick to defend him.
Date: 01 May 2012 15:21 Title: Chapter 2
An excellent introduction to some of the characters. Sisko is extremely well done, something i must commend you on. I rarely used established characters because I never feel I can do them justice, but here its as if Brooks is actually playing him. Well done!
Author's Response: Glad you enjoy the opening chapters, and my portrayal of Sisko. I figured I'd throw in one of his baseball metaphors along with the illustration that his attitude towards the Maquis and towards Eddington wasn't so black and white.
Date: 28 Nov 2011 08:49 Title: Chapter 15
A great story, and sets the premise up for later stories. It made me think about just how many ships the Federation had at its disposal. I don't why but I've always assumed the Federation had somewhere around 40000 ships before the Dominion war, and that number was reduced by half. I always like to think about technical details like this, and you have a knack for sorting out these tricky details as well.
Author's Response: 40K seems about right, with the assumption each fleet has about 300 ships based on the recitation of "Rode the 600" (although not sure how many different there are). That, of course, raises the question of why only 40 ships be spared against the Borg at Wolf 359. In any case, the ending sets the tone for the Dominion War and addresses how they recovered so fast from Toros Three after the loss of that shipyard was supposedly a serious blow, yet they still often outnumbered the UFP and allies two to one.
Date: 28 Nov 2011 08:21 Title: Chapter 9
While Limis has got a few bolts loose... I have a feeling that Arnit is somehow working with the Dominion, he's lured the Lambda Paz, so that Limis will report back and say the Jem'Hadar breeding facility is lightly protected. All of this to destroy or dozen or more Starfleet ships, when they arrive to destroy the facility...
I like how much you compress into your plots, and they use a lot of elements and refer to a lot of episodes from DS9. That's pretty cool, it's also cool you throwing in the DS9 characters as well on occasion...
Author's Response: I tried early on to establish this series as a Deep Space Nine spinoff, much like the first season of DS9 featured cameo appearances by various TNG characters.
Date: 27 Nov 2011 17:07 Title: Prologue
Really good that overview. One thing I've always liked about your writing is your simple style and brisk pace. It's very minimalistic, and it is something The Edge from U2 uses when he plays guitar. You've done something similar with your writing, and yet you convey the key emotions. Nice one!
Author's Response: Always good to get new readers. I figured this kind of prologue was a nice way to establish the backstories of some of the characters. Limis has been through the Cardassian Occupation of Bajor and the Dominion's mass slaughter of the Maquis, and so is battle tested despite the relative lack of Starfleet training. Kozar, meanwhile, is the veteran officer who has captained a frigate through the Cardassian Wars and feels he's more than ready for starship, making being passed up something of deflating blow.
Date: 15 Mar 2010 15:44 Title: Chapter 7
It's kicking off! And worrying that the Jem'Hadar here are not so worried about following orders to the tee. That could make them very deadly if not just the First. Lots of tensions and mistrust still within the crew - not least of which is whether the Maquis personnel can do the job on the Starfleet vessel. Hmmm ... prickly bunch this.
Date: 15 Mar 2010 15:38 Title: Chapter 6
Oh dear. So they have indeed been spotted. This bodes not well for the crew. In addition is the very blatant overriding of the captain's orders. Mutiny may not be too far off. Not to mention the fact that Kozar may have other reasons for stopping the hunt for a changeling ...