Date: 08 Dec 2013 14:07 Title: Better Luck Next Time
A well written and a very nice little scene of angst for John. Seeing his dream fail at the first hurdle, but trying to decide if he can wait a year to try again or just enlisted, the nice use of mood weather was well done in the background. I do like how you show the cracks in John life and his understanding why his two father figure left and his drive to get into Starfleet.
Date: 06 Dec 2013 22:26 Title: Better Luck Next Time
Ah John. I'm sort of surprised he would go back, except the part where he feels probably more responsible for his screw-up of a mother than any child should. It's definitely toxic, and it's kind of amazing that he turned out as well-adjusted as he is, though there are plenty of scars there on display too, once you get past the golden and the grin. Even so, this was probably kind of a crushing moment for him, especially at such a pivotal age, and you convey the atmosphere of that really, really well.
Date: 22 Apr 2011 03:09 Title: Better Luck Next Time
John's home life sucks warp plasma. I mean, seriously-it's not good. I've had friends with parents involved in problems like this and it's not easy to live there, hell it wasn't easy to set foot in the damn house for me...everything just feels way off base. I can understand why JQ wants to get the hell out of there...talk about motivation.
Can't believe I missed this too! God, where was I when this came out? At any rate, a wonderful, if really sad story, and boy, do I have a better understanding of JQ now. Great work.
Yeah, John had a really tough early life -- not nearly as tough as a certain competitor for Maren's affections had it, obviously ... but still pretty bad. He's a resilient person, though, with a fairly good attitude and determined approach to life. He takes responsibility for his own happiness instead of dwelling too much on the past. It would be easy for him to sit back and say "I never had a chance with an upbringing like mine," and just take the easy ways out. Instead, he keeps trying, and often, he succeeds.
Thanks so much for the review!
Date: 28 Jun 2010 12:15 Title: Better Luck Next Time
Oh, wow, missed this one somehow. Great little character vignette on one of Teseract's charming but also more tragic figures. Looks like the poor guy had it tough even in his early life.
Now I'm really hoping he's gonna get a break one of these days.
Thanks for the review, CeJay. John has had a tough life in some ways, but he's kept a pretty good attitude about it and he usually pulls through in the end. I hope I give him a break one of these days, too!
Date: 16 Sep 2009 11:33 Title: Better Luck Next Time
Wow, really amazing. Also, a good insight into John's character. A lot of that happy-go-lucky charm hides a well of pain, as is often the case. You capture the realities of living with an addicted parent really well. I'm extremely impressed.
Thanks for the review and compliment. John definitely uses his charm to hide a lot of his past hurt, but he's also a strong person who has worked hard to move past that hurt. At eighteen, though, he wasn't quite there yet.
Date: 16 Sep 2009 11:23 Title: Better Luck Next Time
Poor John Quigley - no wonder he seems like such a good listener and loyal friend to Icheb and Maren. He knows what it is like to stick with hard realities and knows how to survive turbulence in relationships.
I also have to admire his guts - not so much for sticking by and helping to look over his mother - but opting to stick it out another year when he had other options for escaping. Instead he stuck to his dream and perservered.
I like too the wonder and elusiveness you attach to membership of Starfleet - not an easy choice or free for all. Great story.
Yes, he understands more than Icheb thinks he does. Icheb may have had the worst childhood ever, but John's was no picnic, either. It may have just been Federation standard-level messed up instead of creepy Delta Quadrant-level messed up, but it still left its share of scars.
Regarding Starfleet, if boy super-genius Crusher couldn't get in on his first try during TNG (and neither did Picard, as I recall), I have to assume that it's pretty difficult to make the cut.
Date: 11 Sep 2009 12:29 Title: Better Luck Next Time
Interesting and poignant short story. I am very glad to see that you did not portray forced treatment--I presume that even in your version of Federation society she would've had to become an outright danger to herself and/or others before anything could be forced upon her?
I wonder, as far as Quigley is concerned...were there no other ways to enter Starfleet, no equivalent of ROTC? And did he ever consider enlisting? (Personally, I think based on what I remember from Memory Alpha, that Miles O'Brien enlisted to get out of the house and away from the pressure of his parents, who wanted him to become something else entirely.)
Finally...just an odd little ramble. It's very sad, but very understandable why this relationship never worked as well as AU Ziyal and Skrain Dukat. Sometimes Ziyal DID end up as her father's caretaker...but I think the difference is that Skrain WANTED to be cured. The issue in his case was that after the Occupation started, sometimes getting his medication became a problem. (And he had also learned meditations and disciplines, when he was in inpatient treatment, and from outpatient counseling, that I think may have taken the edge off of his behavior, so to speak, in comparison to Mrs. Quigley.)
BTW, feel free to shoot me a PM if any of this interests you! ;-)
Leaving before the age of eighteen would have required either a parental sign off or the authorities to get involved somehow and emancipate him, and John couldn't get past the guilt or embarrassment of that. It's one thing to leave quietly as soon as society expects you to be doing that anyway -- it's another to be the kid who spilled his mother's secrets and abandoned her. As far as enlistment, yes, he considered it (it's in there if you re-read). He applied to Starfleet Academy thinking they probably wouldn't even accept his paperwork, but when they did, he let his hopes get up a bit. If he had outright failed the entrance exam competition, he would definitely have enlisted like O'Brien. But he performed well enough to be eligible to try again the following year (more like Wesley Crusher). He had to make the call -- be patient for another year and try again to reach for a dream he once thought impossible, or just enlist, knowing that at least he'd get off Earth and away from his miserable home life.
Date: 11 Sep 2009 04:36 Title: Better Luck Next Time
The agony of almost achieving your goal, especially when trying again means another year of hell. This is a potently sad story, but one that underscores John's drive to ultimately succeed.
That was a nice summary, Gibraltar. Thanks for reviewing!