Thanks for the comment. Much like Kes, I will probably only be posting my chapters in little increments for this chapter, so as of Chapter 21 I'll be back to my normal posting. I'm trying desperately to get this volume finished before next month when I'll be participating in nanowrimo.
As to the stress test of these characters - yes, this is definitely a way of pushing the characters to the limits. I like what you have pointed out here about them all either slipping out of their usual characters or more into their characters, especially where it concerns Qwert. His reaction was out of character, more a reaction to the overall situation: at no point did he expect this mission to spiral so far out of control. I would argue that by the end of the chapter, though, he has recovered from that shock and is back on track.
IE Isaporial - LOL! I love it. Sorry to disapoint.
kes and Gul Spook
The official way to say it (a mix of both) (drum roll please...):
Hope that meets with your approval