Date: 20 Jul 2013 17:27 Title: Prologue
As you have done before, you really are a master of world-building. The whole experience is deliciously alien. The Laurentii are hard to relate to, everything from their faces to their names. About the only thing that seems at all familiar is that their religion seems almost analogous to faiths where there one charismatic leader. Hence they can be a bit like the Mormons under Joseph Smith, or hasidim under various rebbes.
Sarine's (I always see and hear him as Edward James Olmos) reluctance to hang around, and his desire to be back home with Elera and Torvol, adds a depth and a dimension to the character. He is not just some warrior type. The idea of him being almost a chosen and anointed one is rather similar to Benjamin Sisko himself, the eponym for the ship - not a coincidence, I am sure. So here, at the more or less start of things (technically, his first service with the Laurentii is really more of a start), Sarine has a mission thrown at him. But things are already amiss, and he is not thrilled with having to cool his heels. Given the clear cultural differences, the Laurentii's playing for time is not immediately seen as such. Convenient for them, eh?
Well-written, as always.
Date: 27 May 2013 17:02 Title: Chapter 27
Oh, Turner. She’s the quintessential fighter pilot. She won’t leave a man behind, she won’t let one of her people get killed if she can prevent it. She’s also a badass pilot. I LOVED the way you describe the battles in this story and the one she gets in is just as good as all the rest. She maneuvers her craft deftly, lights up those SOBs, and watches as the burn alive. I can almost hear the flesh sizzling (disturbing AND cool, at least to my twisted mind ;) ) and I loved how, when she got stuck in the tractor beam, she didn’t bother to fight it. She knew. She just knew this was it and she knew her people would want to come back for her but she made sure Eight didn’t.
She trained her own weapons on him to save her life and that’s exactly what she needed to do. Pilots are a tight group and they’d gladly give one another’s life for a fellow crewmate, but she was their commander. She was their lead. She was going to make sure THEY lived above all else and I loved that from her character.
I theorize that the reason she was stuck in a tractor beam was because of Sarine. He needed her. Or wanted her. Or maybe those that took him have some sort of way of knowing he’s going to need her, but there’s a purpose and Sarine’s attached to it, and I’m standing by that reason.
Prin and her thoughts as captain of the vessel come through loud and clear here: a bit despondent, a bit overwhelmed, wanting to go back for her captain. But Qwert nailed it when he said that’s not what Sarine would have wanted. He was right. The Ferengi admiral, who proved himself too invaluable on the station (and earned himself Badass status) kept her head on straight. But the Redemption has other problems to deal with, namely Dax and Keene (whomever he’s going to be now) and Astrid Williams (whom I’m still not sure what to feel about, pity or dislike). Prin has a ton to handle.
But this has been a wild ride and one I’ve enjoyed immensely. I look forward to more.
Author's Response: Wow, what a final comment for the final chapter! Glad you like Turner, she is cool. I wanted to bring a little Star Wars to my Star Trek fic and the fighter pilots and their battles seemed to be the best way. I'm glad you liked the way I described them, I actually think of those descriptions as being one of my weak points, so is a big deal that you enjoyed them! I was a bit worried about people's reactions to her training her weapons on her own man, but it just seemed like the thing she would do. As for you theory as to the tractor beam... I am hard at work on Volume 4 where you will definitely get answers to that question. Prin is in over her head indeed, but she is a good swimmer! :) She is going to have to step up now in Ba'el's absence and deal with everything that has gone down on Redemption and outside. That is going to be a lot to handle, so she is going to turn to some unexpected places to get assistance. So glad that you have enjoyed this story so much. As I said, I am hard at work on Volume 4. Hope to have some more for you soon!
Date: 15 May 2013 18:06 Title: Chapter 26
Wow. A borgified Onyx station now under bad guy control ... a civil war that is likely lost now due to the actions of Redemption. It seems Turner and her crew out in space are in danger.
But another Redemption crew member bites the dust ... and this time it was Kane and Co. I wondered what happened to make him lose control of the station and then we got our answer ... he got killed.
His death was a sad one and he will be missed. I hope he can pull an Ianto (totally trademarking that ... okay, so I'm not) but I somehow doubt it considering the Borg are both organic and mechanical.
I wait for more ... where is Sarine? Dude, they need you!
Date: 15 May 2013 11:16 Title: Chapter 25
It was nice to see Kane in action again. Once more, the way you can sink yourself into a certain species is inspiring. The way Kane calmly explained everything and took over the station was parts wondeorus and chilling. We all know what the Borg are capable of and what they can do. It was nice to see Kane deal with that thought, that temptation, briefly before having it put out of his mind.
Qwert and his views on the plan were as expected. He was properly horrified though I think, much like me, he was more horrifed at what happened to the Ambassador. The ending was a shocker to this chapter. I did not expect her to meet her death. How is this going to affect Colin? How is this going to affect Sarine (assuming he lives)?
The battle has been brutal so far and things look to get worse before they get better.
Date: 15 May 2013 11:06 Title: Chapter 24
Wow. Everything happening and coming to bear at exactly the same time. This is why communication is so important but because of the station, all these things were just mistimed. The losses mounted by Turner's group is expected and again, part of her seems to relish this. Sarine would be proud of the way she's conducting herself out there I feel.
Ianto got the shot off but Qwert did not. Now that he's missed, how is the sly Ferengi going to get out of this one? With the station's defenses hopefully falling fast, it'll be up to the Redemption to save his bacon ... assuming the survive.
I must say, I was impressed with the pacing of the chapter. I try myself not to vary between more than two POVs in a chapter as I just lose track of the pacing, but you kept things tight and consistent with the multiple views here. The series of events played out beautifully.
Date: 15 May 2013 10:54 Title: Chapter 23
Oh no. Keene tried to play it off but he got what he wanted ... he got his battle. And he quickly put down all his opponents. Well portrayed the action scene, faster and furious. But Malok, oh poor Malok ... his end was undeserved. He was, perhaps, the most cuddly Klingon ever and to see him ended like that ... I could only shake my head.
Keene's decision to screw Astrid, one last time, is one I support but only because Dax lives. Still, after last chapter where Keene had a bit of my admiration, he now has none. He killed Malok and though it was necessary for him, the gentle Klingon will be missed.
So, now the question remains how Dax is going to make out in all of this. Will he be blamed for it? Will Keene arrange a fall guy? As the battle rages around Redemption, another rages within.
Date: 15 May 2013 10:48 Title: Chapter 22
Whoa, Keene. Okay, first off, you write Klingon very well. I enjoyed Keene's thoughts on everything that was going on. He seemed to convince Malok that his place was in sickbay but then ... well, Malok shows up with a phaser eliciting a WTF from Keene as well as me. What tipped Malok off? Has he known the entire time?
Then we get back to Prin and the battle, which increasingly looks like is not going to end well for those helping the Redemption. The deaths of the living ships was well portrayed ... Prin's thoughts are good ones. How can the Federation allow with people who willingly throw such creatures into violent engagements? But it's not like the Federation is that much better.
Well done. Keene was the highlight of the chapter for me and I kinda want him to narrate my life, just to hear how boring and pathetic it is and how he would totally own everyone with his Klingon-ness.
Date: 15 May 2013 10:39 Title: Chapter 21
And things are coming to a head. Qwert seems to be readying his play against the would be Kruin and his thoughts are reflective of what many would think in that situation. He's too old for this ... I heard Danny Glover as Murdock from Lethal Weapon there.
On board the Redemption, Ianto seems to have his fingers in a lot of pies, more than most people know. I don't suspect for a second he's going to do anything horrible with that (except, perhaps, free Kalara which isn't horrible) but I wonder if all that going on is going to make piloting that shuttle just a tad more difficult.
Then we come to Turner. She's been given the orders she needs and the line has been drawn ... she faced it bravely. I got the feeling she relishes it and she knows what's at stake, in the bigger picture and the smaller one.
Prin's thoughts on everything were spot on and the idea of the Redemption suffering casualties and massive losses is a sad one. It made me pause mid-chapter for a moment as I considered which crew might not make it back. A testament to your writing.
Date: 15 May 2013 10:14 Title: Chapter 20
Whoa. Things are getting majorly serious now. Kane has come up with a Borg solution all right and this one has VOY written all over it: nanoprobes vs. bio tech. Species 8472 would like to have a word with you.
The plan is radical and smacks of desperation, but that's exactly the situation the ships finds itself in. Well done timing it right so as not to seem too convenient. The space battle was again a nice highly of the chapter, well described and easy to visualize.
The interplay between Prin, Kane, and Ianto was also a highlight. I half suspected that Kane's scheme was going to involve the fighters (putting Turner at risk) but I'm glad to see that, at least for now, I was wrong.
Date: 15 May 2013 10:07 Title: Chapter 19
Oh, Dax. It looks like bad timing is your calling card. Malok has given Keene the opening he needs to get rid of Dax, satisfy Astrid, and maybe do something more. The machinations continue on multiple sides and you've done a good job of keeping everything balanced.
Back on Onyx, we see Qwert get riled up. Whereas before things were serious, the death of Garabaldi (wait, is that a Bablyon 5 reference? If it is, awesome) has made Qwert realize that things are even more dangerous than he thought. He's personally effected by it and with all the information coming out about Sarine (dead? what? no!) I think Qwerts gonna go old school here and just flat out kill the guy who started all this.
Date: 15 May 2013 09:57 Title: Chapter 18
Whew. Well, Colin seems to have found his Starfleet training again, just in the nick of time. My mind keeps wondering what happened with Astrid though ... she indicated she was going to seduce him and use him in some way. I can't help but feel Colin could be a ticking time bomb but Astrid's ploy befuddles me even now. What's her end game? I'm intrigured by that.
Equally intrigured by the ambassador who, despite being universally seen a bitch, also moonlights as a badass too. Between her and Qwert, I have faith those who are left will be okay.
On Redemption, Prin seems to be struggling to keep things together. I like that she went to Kane for help and, as the Borg often do, I have no doubt that he has a plan to get them out of this pickle. Turner and the flight guys were brilliantly written, a very old school war movie feel there. I loved the banter back and forth between her and her guys. She's obviously one who can focus on the objective at hand but seeing her think of Sarine was a nice touch.
And now we finally know what's going on with the station. A coup, eh? Yeah, that will turn into a bloodbath pretty fast. Qwert is, as ever, quick to make a proper judgement, using his years of experience to size up things.
Date: 14 May 2013 20:20 Title: Chapter 17
Well, Qwert is a badass. Let's get that out of the way right now. No one on that station can stand against his cane and his mighty crounching Ferengi, hidden Latinum fighting style.
Back to the chapter overall: wow. Shit has hit the fan and in a major way. People dead, assasination attempts, and what looks to be a civil war. This entire thing has broken down and the Federation is right in the middle of it, unable to extract itself now that things have gotten so out of hand.
What has happened to Sarine? What's going on in general?
Well done, this chapter. The space battle was well portrayed, the enemy ships decription strong and what they're doing matching that.
Date: 14 May 2013 20:04 Title: Chapter 16
Oh snap. Big chapter in a couple of ways but first I'd like to say "Was up!" to Ianto who has been sorely missed. It's nice to see him back and running, and good to see him come to the defense of Kalara. She's his bud and she's innocent ... I anticipate he'll find that out. His demonstration with his emitter was very effective and got the point across quite clearly.
But Prin seems to have bigger things to deal with. The power struggle seems to have turned into the beginnings of a blood bath and I can't tell what's going to happen other than the Redemption is in some deep trouble.
The shaken reactions of the bridge crew were well done and I enjoyed the pacing in this chapter, filled with the right amount of action and debate (internal and external).
Date: 14 May 2013 19:49 Title: Chapter 15
Whoa, whoa, whoa ... hold on. Give me a moment ...
Say what? Astrid and Keene? The scene in the cargo bay was well done, again the fight sequence being a highlight. And then leading into Astrid and Keene, getting together ... wow. I feel kinda bad for the nice Astrid, the one who has no clue what she's doing here. She's getting used and abused without her knowledge. Frankly, I'm not sure which is the real Astrid between the two but the duality is there and I was reminded of it when this went down. The nice Astrid would not have done that with Keene.
Keene seems just as confused as I am. At least I have clothes on though ;)
Then we get to Sarine. He seems to be regretting that decision to toss Kalara into the brig so fast despite the evidence against her and that's a good. I was hoping with Turner showing up he'd get some time to discuss that with her as she always seems to know the right thing to say.
But it wasn't meant to be. He had to get back.
And then he comes back and is shot. Poor Sarine can't seem to catch a break. He should have kissed the girl. Always kiss the girl, Sarine.
Date: 14 May 2013 19:34 Title: Chapter 14
Oh, poor Kalara. She got laid into by Sarine, who didn't waste a moment. He threw her under the bus pretty fast and though I can't blame him, with something that personal and serious, I feel like his emotions got the better of him then. Prin saved his hide-again-and seems to feel that something's up. I'm hoping she'll be able to figure out that it's all a fake, all a lie, but with everything going on ... she may not have the time.
Kalara is now in the brig and I wonder how Damian is going to react. I'm wondering if he'll come to her defense or try and investigate this on his own. Part of me wants him to, to prove his wife is innocent, but considering that Astrid is involved in this and she's dangerous, I don't think I'll wish that on Damian.
Date: 14 May 2013 19:20 Title: Chapter 13
Oh boy. It seems as if SI has been pulled into this little ploy by Astrid quite easily. Not even they could figure out it was a fake. Now that fake was passed on to Prin, who must be suffering with all the work she's doing. Kalara looks like she's about to bite the bullet ...
Meanwhile, we come back to Dax. The scene in the Vulcan desert (mind desert anyway) was well done. The sand swirling, the suffocating heat, communicated well what was going on. But once Haebron got there, things got chilly and fast. I could understand and feel the fear that Dax was going through there ... it was quite a visceral scene him being choked by the sand.
I think Dax made a critical error thinking about a round two mind meld. Haebron now has time to come up with a counter strategy ... I think the scare tactic was to bide time and it certainly seems like he's succeeded in doing that.
Date: 14 May 2013 19:05 Title: Chapter 12
And now we're back at Dax. I have to say, I thought for sure that Keene was at the door and not Malok ... I thought Dax was about to bite the bullet. But it turned out to be a friend after all and he brought a Vulcan, ready for a mind meld.
I have to point out my giddy glee at the Vulcan's name: you have a talent for naming characters. Q'sar (which I say as Quasar in my head, cause it sounds cool). I'm just constantly impressed by that and wanted to shout it out real quick.
Back to the chapter, boy it seems Jasto's in a bad way. I don't think this mind meld thing is going to work (Tuvok/Lon Suder anyone? Suder was awesome by the way, miss him). I have a feeling that this is gonna backfire tremendously. I'm also hoping this is a reference to Tuvok/Suder but if not, I'm still taking it as that ;)
Date: 14 May 2013 18:43 Title: Chapter 11
Oh boy. Seems the stuff is starting to hit the fan and mighty fast. The pain Sarine has, the memories of being violated, the knowledge that something is amiss ... what does it all lead to?
Why are the Laurentii so split over him? If he is indeed the savior of their people, why not welcome him? Or is this a situation that mirrors humanity's take on religion ... that if someone is deemed a messiah, they must be lying?
The questios swirl and I'm grasping for straws here. The transmission that Astrid put in the computer has been revealed and it seems her plan is moving along smoothly, though what her goal is remains a mystery.
Kalara seems to know something's up and I'm wondering whether she's going to voice these concerns to anyone else or offer Sarine aid ... either option is possible. Of course, being a warrior, she may just investigate this herself.
Date: 14 May 2013 18:28 Title: Chapter 10
Well, that was quite a fun chapter! Qwert is quite a fun Ferengi ... I can understand why you find him fun to write. The chapter itself was filled with nice nods to previous chapters, the first one I noticed being Astrid ... oh, Astrid. She's got a very drunk and very ill Colin Groves on her hand and now the time seems to have arrived for her to take advantage of him.
It was nice to see Qwert acknowledge that the Ambassador was indeed a bitch. Because she is and it seems that everyone universally arrives at this conclusion. I wonder if anyone likes her.
Sarine continues to play her off balance but once the arrived on the station it seems something has affected him ... I'm betting those missing two days, which he hasn't yet had time to address, has something to do with his behavior aboard there.
It seems there's a power struggle going on at Onyx station and that doesn't bode well for anyone. With the amount of ships there and the general tenseness in the air, I have to come to conclusion that something is about to trigger ... could it be Astrid's plot is to cause some sort of split?
As for the station itself a very good job describing it. I come away once again impressed (and envious) of you descriptive abilities ... seeing it all through Qwerts eyes, just as unitiated as I, brings me closer to what he's seeing. The station very reads alive as it feels to the character, if that makes any sense, and I want to know more about how its made.
Date: 14 May 2013 13:08 Title: Chapter 9
Ah, good to see Kalara again. She's still my favorite of the bunch and proves here that she's not so easily maniupulated by the Ambassador. In fact, she seems to be coming to Sarine's defense a bit something I'm sure surprises both of them.
Speaking of Sarine, he did exactly as Turner advised him and threw the Ambassador for a loop. The way she got put down and denined was classic ... but making an enemy out of her seems like a bad idea. She's not one to take things lying down. I assume she's going to get some payback.
And that mysterious transmission that Astrid was coding into the computer has been found ... now the question is what does it all mean?
Date: 14 May 2013 12:47 Title: Chapter 8
Well, seems that things are getting interesting all over the ship. No lack of excitement. Benjamani is a piece of work and I love how Sarine refers to her as a "bitch" even in his narration because she really is one. Totally loved how Prin came to his rescue and let Sarine get off the bridge ... that's a true friend.
The battle between Turner and Sarine in the FSD was quite fun to read. Loved the way the two of them danced with each other, so to speak, and afterwards how Sarine just poured his heart out to her.
And then Turner goes in for the kiss and the two are together, yay! It's been building for awhile, so it was nice for them to be able to meet in that way. Have to say, I'm glad Turner isn't forcing things to get serious fast. She's a keeper.
Date: 14 May 2013 12:29 Title: Chapter 7
Whew, what a chapter. It seems Astrid has everything well in hand despite what Keene thinks ... Keene not being too keen on her (totally unoriginal, but I had to). The atmosphere described in the hydroponics bay was superb, really felt the thickness of humidy in the air.
The action sequence between Astrid and Keene was also a highlight. I enjoyed seeing Keene be utterly befuddled by how good Astrid was ... he underestimated her, but you can't blame him based on her file. He's got himself in a bind now and I'm interested to see how he manages to extract himself.
Astrid's dialogue was pretty sweet. She owned Keene and enjoyed it.
Date: 13 May 2013 22:21 Title: Chapter 6
Well, Sarine seems really shaken by what happened with Rhodes and I can't say I blame him. War wounds don't heal easily and even when they are better, they are reopened pretty easily too. Sarine has done well holding it all together but it looks like he's checked out, leaving his loyal friend and XO Prin to step up.
Step up she did but I agree with her, he def needs to be in the lead here and showing a good front. Even as hard as it has to be with the guilt from Bajor weighing on him, he needs to put up a good front for the crew ... they need him as a leader.
A good chapter. Look forward to more.
Date: 13 May 2013 21:24 Title: Chapter 5
Oh boy. Past decisions coming back to haunt everyone in this chapter. Sarine discovers that he has two days missing from his memory, then Captain Rhodes and the tragedy of Bajor ... and now Dax, who finally comes forward and tells the truth. But the truth very much confined him and did not set him free.
It was a pretty tense chapter, not a lot of good feelings about, especially with the reliving of so many past sins. Between Sarine's decisions and Dax's, I'm not sure who I feel more sympathy for. Dax has tried to tell the truth but has been dealt with ... it's within Sarine's rights to do more to him but he seems to be taking out some of his anger on the Rhodes situation on Dax.
Now the question is, where do things go from here? It seems the mission is unraveling faster than Sarine can keep up with.
Well done on this chapter. The tense atmosphere, even amongst a supposedly nice dinner, was communicated well. The way Sarine reacted to Rhodes was a gut punch for sure to him and to me ... I felt it. The horrors of war do not end when the war ends, they live and perputuate.
Date: 13 May 2013 21:10 Title: Chapter 4
Well, now the VOY question has been answered. Ianto as an EMH? Hmm. I liked the way you tied in "Message in a Bottle" here and how the Doctor had to remain in the AQ. I'm sure he must have missed the VOY crew deeply but he landed with good people I imagine. Whatever happened to him must have been tough for Ianto not to mention it ... but there aren't many happy endings where the Dominion are involved. His idea seems sound and should be very interesting.
Ah, Kalara. She may just be my favorite character of the bunch. Her family life is complicated and the guilt trip her mother is putting her on is expected. It has to be tough serving in Starfleet while her brothers are facing one another in a war ... well done on her thought processes and the way she defends herself against her mother's accusation that she's failing their house.
Author's Response: Yeah, I loved this story arc just for the ability to throw in these references back to VOY and what went on there. I hope to be able to get some more of this in as the story progresses. Kalara seems to be most everybody's favourite, though personally I seem to have the most fun writing Qwert! :) I'm glad that her complicated family life worked for you, and the idea of her brothers facing each other across the divide is one that I would like to come back to at some point in a different setting.