Wow, what an impressive, well thought out review. Let me respond to this piece by piece.
Last episode started slow but built up a good head of steam; now we’re fairly motoring — you’re determined to keep us off balance and doing a good job too. The teaser with Prin doubting the video instinctively and all the time holding a balance between her old habits + gut responses and her new identity + role in the Federation. A nice touch seeing her making XO notes to herself even while Captaining the situation
I did want to drop gears slightly through this chapter because of the way the last chapter ended. Like you said, I like keeping you all off balance and guessing. I'm glad that you enjoyed the little insights into Prin's character - she is one of my favourites (shhh, don't tell the others) and I like seeing her mindset.
Finally Ianto comes back into the picture, parachuted in from nowhere almost; with his obviously enhanced enmeshment with the ship will he be able to ferret out more than any other investigator and will he be believed even if he does? That is if he lasts long enough to make a difference; putting him in a Red Shirt is . . . ominous.
I was a bit worried about Ianto reapparing so suddenly and I hope that it wasn't too jarring. I decided early on that I didn't want to get into the whole holographic testing / emmitter creation, and decided instead to mention it early on and then have it all go on in the background. Of course due to the hiatus this seems to be even longer ago!!
As to the Red Shirt - definitely not intentional! I wanted him to be in a DS9 Dominion-war era uniform and red was the first one I saw.
His enmeshment with the ship may well help him to uncover the truth behind Kalara's situation, but I have a few more surprises up my sleeve before then...
A chilling reference to Sarine there; he is hardly clear headed about anything right now. At the very moment Prin is thinking of her Captain there may no longer be a Captain Sarine — whether assassinated or assimilated. This is turning out to be a tale of shadows in more ways than one— Kalara and Ianto shadow Sarine and Prin; two Captains and two Execs. The dynamics between the matched pairs are powerful enough but when you add to the mix all the permutations that can be run between the foursome it is a veritable shadow dance.
No, Sarine is not the most clear headed of individuals. He has improved since we first saw him, mellowed slightly, but he is still carrying around a hell of a lot of baggage. This first arc of the Restoration story (yes these three volumes are only the first arc!!
) is really his story as he tries to resolve all of these issues as best he can.
Of course he may not be given that time considering what may or may not have happened about Onyx Station.
I love your comment about the shadows - I had always intended this foursome to play off of one another, and I am so glad that you have drawn that out!
Oh and then you throw everyone into the build up to a minor war where nothing at all is clear. Now we want to know who was the escapee, who the pursuers, what is happening to Onyx, what is happening to the Away Team and, naturally, none of the questions from the last Chapter and not all of those from the last arc are answered yet. To cap it off — is the Behemoth referring to the attack on Sarine or has something else happened? What could send the station into spasm; Sarine being plugged into the circuits, the Kruin being extinguished or both! Pure evil authorship.
Yes, things are definitely building up to a tense situation. All out war? Maybe. Civil war? Probably. What that will mean for the crew of Redemption remains to be seen.
I promise that there will be answers to all of these questions. One more chapter or two, and we will clear up exactly what has happened aboard Onyx. As to the other questions posed during these three volumes... Some will be answered. Some won't. I promise it will be a wild ride, though!
Thanks again for the kind words, in-depth comments and well thought out response. Really makes writing this story and these characters I love even more worthwhile.