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Old March 7 2011, 05:15 AM   #646
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

BTW, forgot to say thanks to BrotherBenny for reading!

TheLoneRedshirt wrote: View Post
Trust is not easily gained with so many layers of ingrained distrust to remove. Yet those of the Thirteenth Order have made tremendous progress. Whether Spiridopoulos will ever totally trust his Cardassian comrades remains to be seen. I think he wants to, but I don't know if the questions will ever fully disappear.
I think he wants to, too. Otherwise, I don't think he would've felt so bad when he realized he hurt Berat's feelings. That means he's seeing Berat as a person.

I like the reminders that the Cardassians are more "alien" than the Federation aliens as the Starfleeters cope with strange foods, shipboard customs and environmental systems. Small details, but they add much to the stress and the story-line.
Hm...well, there are some pretty "alien" Starfleeters, too (remember Te-Mae-Do? ), but I'm glad you like those details!

And to echo BrotherBenny - what the heck just happened?
You'll see...

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
Excellent scene...albeit, a little repetitive in regards to Spirodopoulos's inner conflicts. (Not that that's bad--I'm often guilty of that in INSANE ways. How many times have I had Ezri brooding over her tragic decision in Trill:Unjoined?)
I think it kind of came to a head in that scene, if it makes sense. He was really going back and forth. But I think once he hurt Berat's feelings, it made him realize that a decision has to be made.

Still, well-written as always. Looking forward to see what the heck is going on....
Thanks!
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Old March 7 2011, 05:02 PM   #647
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

An excellent chapter! Spiro's struggle with trust is very human and I appreciate that doubt always has a way of surfacing at inconvenient times. I want to trust Berat and Spiros is a seeker - I think he wants to be able to fully trust him too. From the comfort of my role as an auditor of the proceedings I get to like Berat all I wish. Spiros must be very very uncomfortable feeling that he may be part of the solution OR an unwilling accomplice. He doesn't get very much wiggle room. The stakes are very high and the chapter is tightly woven. I very much look forward to seeing where we go next. Thank you!
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Old March 7 2011, 05:59 PM   #648
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post

TheLoneRedshirt wrote: View Post
I like the reminders that the Cardassians are more "alien" than the Federation aliens as the Starfleeters cope with strange foods, shipboard customs and environmental systems. Small details, but they add much to the stress and the story-line.
Hm...well, there are some pretty "alien" Starfleeters, too (remember Te-Mae-Do? ), but I'm glad you like those details!
Point taken. I worded that poorly. There are of course, many strange aliens in the Federation. I wanted to echo your point that Federation starships take these variations in physiology into account with their environmental systems and food replicators, whereas Cardassian ships were designed for a single race. I like how you picked up on that and use that as an added stress point for the Federation contingent. The physical discomfort of strange food ("Dukat's revenge?" You had to go there! ) and warm environs add to the psychological and emotional stress. One does not always use good judgment when physically impaired. I think Spiridopolous has performed admirably, all things considered.
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Old March 8 2011, 02:21 AM   #649
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

ORSE wrote: View Post
An excellent chapter! Spiro's struggle with trust is very human and I appreciate that doubt always has a way of surfacing at inconvenient times. I want to trust Berat and Spiros is a seeker - I think he wants to be able to fully trust him too. From the comfort of my role as an auditor of the proceedings I get to like Berat all I wish. Spiros must be very very uncomfortable feeling that he may be part of the solution OR an unwilling accomplice. He doesn't get very much wiggle room. The stakes are very high and the chapter is tightly woven. I very much look forward to seeing where we go next. Thank you!
Spirodopoulos isn't happy with the way that conversation played out, for sure, and I think deep down, he feels that he is at fault for it.

TheLoneRedshirt wrote: View Post
Point taken. I worded that poorly. There are of course, many strange aliens in the Federation. I wanted to echo your point that Federation starships take these variations in physiology into account with their environmental systems and food replicators, whereas Cardassian ships were designed for a single race. I like how you picked up on that and use that as an added stress point for the Federation contingent.
I felt that the Cardassian mindset would really come into play there; resources would not be wasted on accommodating multiple species. Until now.

The physical discomfort of strange food ("Dukat's revenge?" You had to go there! )
Well, I was trying to be a LITTLE more refined than "backdoor trots"...

Plus, let's see...

1) Deposed ruler
2) Possible mystical powers of said ruler
3) Said ruler's tendency towards...well, getting the verbal runs

It seemed like it fit.

Having grown up as an Air Force brat, I can also say that is the kind of slang a bunch of Air Force officers (and hence a bunch of Sigils Starfleeters) would come up with.

Which opens up a whole other can of worms: my Starfleet is definitely fundamentally different at its heart than yours, that's for sure. For mine, the outward Naval traditions are a thin veneer that hide what's really at its heart: Air Force. To me, a LOT of things we saw on screen point to a far stronger Air Force than Navy heritage, despite the ranks and certain ceremonies and traditions that are observed. Above all, the relations between officers and enlisted, the ratio between officer and enlisted, and the highly technical abilities of the enlisted (there are no Starfleet "grunts" just as there are no Air Force "grunts"), really screams Air Force. (But I can enjoy stories written either way.)

and warm environs add to the psychological and emotional stress. One does not always use good judgment when physically impaired. I think Spiridopolous has performed admirably, all things considered.
It's definitely stressful, that's for sure.
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Old March 8 2011, 06:41 PM   #650
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

As usual, that was a very absorbing read. A very effective exploration of the general issue of trust and its complexities, but explored in a manner that moves the story and the characters forward and avoids spinning out into anything too broad (which would detract from the character development). Very nice. It successfully works as a quiet character piece that feels nicely self-contained while also handling some rather complex themes. One of the strengths of your writing is how it so often has thematic resonance in an open-ended manner without "trying too hard". It's provocative but not in a directed way; very accessible, and the issues involved always feel a natural part of the characterization and the plot.

I really like this:
Plus if it were a simulation,
he added to himself with a twist of the lips, why would they put embarrassing characters like Speros and Trughal in it?
Actually, one of the reasons I particularly like it is that it does a particularly good job of "humanizing" (so to speak) the Cardassians further in his estimation - and I think it's a more important point than it might first appear. It reminds me slightly of a plot in one of the Discworld books, where the hero is dealing with a brewing racially-charged national conflict, and trying to discover who was behind a plot against dignitaries from the other nation. He's convinced it must be extremists from his side who are responsible, because he is not a racist nationalist and so doesn't share many of his people's belief that "it must be them at fault, never us". But his allied counterpart from the other nation eventually reveals it was one of that nation's people after all. And the lesson from the counterpart officer to the hero is basically: "Truly treat all peoples equally. Allow one of my people the right to be a complete bastard". A wise lesson, and there's something reminiscent of that in here. Cardassians overall are not "nice" anymore than they're "nasty"; they're just people. Some are saints, some are assholes. And acknowledging that is an important part of finding yourself comfortable with other people. Don't prejudge them, don't think the worst of them, don't aggress at them...but you don't have to necessarily like them all. So I really enjoyed that little acknowledgement.

The architectual considerations are interesting - the mess hall being designed to accommodate the hierarchy, and all. And it's interesting to note the lack of judgement in Spiradopolous' reflections; just an observational acknowledgement of the difference. It's the Cardassian way, and he doesn't feel the need to play the "but is it better or worse than our way?" game.

Speaking of those characters who definitely fall on the "nice" side of the spectrum, I really do like Berat. He actually starts to remind me of my uncle, with a touch of something or someone I can't quite place but I know is familiar...Anyway, he really does convince - I could picture him sitting there, his "do join us!", the look in his eyes. He's a really well-realized character. I have no idea how you do it, but you make these characters seem alive. I've mentioned that before, I think - you write your characters as if they have souls. There's a real richness to them, and it's quite rare to find that in a writer.

I never know what to say other than to repeat my admiration about your writing skills (one of these days I'll go out of my way to find a flaw and then moan about it at every opportunity...) As usual, I really appreciate the little details that demonstrate just how much thought you put into representation of fictional worlds; the acknowledgement of security training involving the need to overcome response based on native recognition cues because they're not universal, for instance. It's really gratifying to see the depths with which the realities of inter-species contact are being handled here. On a personal level, a political level, and on an instinctive level dealing in the manner in which people read each other. All the assumptions that we can't help but make and need to consciously keep in check. The dietary issues, too. You'd handle a Titan story well, I think. It's also nice to have glimpses into the necessities of Starfleet training (which surprisingly the published novels don't seem to consider too often).
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Old March 8 2011, 08:29 PM   #651
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

Thanks! I'm very glad you liked it!

I can't say I've ever had any interest in Discworld, but I do find that plotline amusing. It's OK to call a Cardassian an asshole if they REALLY ARE an asshole. But not to assume they all are.

As for the mess hall being designed to reflect the hierarchy...I do think it went against the grain for Spirodopoulos some, and he didn't just dismiss the thought as easily as you suggest, but at least the fact that he was consciously processing it helped.

About Berat, I'm glad you like him. He can be a lot of fun to write for--which is why I wished that little mis-start between him and Spirodopoulos hadn't happened, but I couldn't find a way to undo it.

I often do feel like my characters are "alive" in a way. I've heard Gul Re'jal say the same thing about her own characters.

As for Titan...I really liked those stories. Doubt I'm going to read much more Treklit given some of the nonsense that went on in those books, but I definitely have good memories of those stories. Diane Duane's depiction of a true multispecies crew is even stronger of an influence on me.

As for the mannerisms...yeah, I always felt Cardassian mannerisms, if we'd really been able to depict them on the show accurately (and not through Garak and Dukat who were both "false" in their own ways) would seem just slightly "canid" rather than wholly "primate," such as the whole eye-contact aversion thing. The hierarchical instinct does affect their mannerisms, in my continuity. (I think you may remember "The Nature of the Beast," too, and that AU, where that same instinct was enforced on someone else.)
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Old May 24 2011, 05:05 AM   #652
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

IT LIVES!

And here's your soundtrack for this section--the conclusion of Chapter 18.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwhD2JU57FU

Enjoy!

--------------

They’re early! Berat fumed at himself. He should have known—should have assumed the attack on Lessek would result in an acceleration of all Jem’Hadar patrols in the nearby sectors, not just the Lessek sector itself…for that matter, how did they all manage to miss that now blindingly obvious conclusion? “Brace yourselves!” Berat called as he and Spirodopoulos scrambled for the turbolift. “That won’t be the last one!” The Jem’Hadar had no idea of their position; that had been a depth charge off their rightwing, not the more typical guided torpedo. “They do this on a regular basis,” he explained to the terhăn between breaths as they ran, “sit there and fire depth charges into the nebula to see if they can shake anything out. They weren’t supposed to be here now—we were supposed to have another three hours…”

A second shock hit just as they made the turbolift—though this one not quite as hard as before, as though the explosion had occurred at a greater distance from the ship than the last. “Goulke!” Berat shouted. Bridge!

Shields still seemed to be holding…years of experience had taught him the difference between a direct structural hit and the concussive push as the paired attractor and repulsor shield generators that lent shape and a set distance as well as power to the shields fought to restore balance between themselves and transmitted that force straight to the ship’s structure through the resistance of the repulsors. This had been that kind of hit.

The strong pushback was actually a positive sign to Gul Berat rather than a negative one—it meant that the generators were still sufficiently balanced in their respective power levels that they did not automatically pare back their output to remain matched…or shut down entirely if balance could not be achieved and the field ran a chance of collapsing to the point where it interacted with the skinfield used by the structural integrity and inertial dampening systems. In such cases, sound engineering principles deemed it better to risk the possibility of being destroyed by enemy weapons versus the near certainty of a crippling cascade through the ship’s systems that might even destroy it without enemy action.

Spirodopoulos stuck out a hand, propping himself pre-emptively on the wall as the lift switched to horizontal motion, in case of another explosion. His eyes narrowed in thought, concentration, and urgency, creating a most intense image without the normal shading of the eye ridges to mute the contrast between the darkness surrounding the eye and the white of the eye itself. Suddenly the Starfleet officer came out with a question: “Why aren’t they calling you?”

“What?”

“Your crew—why haven’t they called you to the bridge? Do you think something might be wrong up there?”

“I don’t,” Berat replied. Spirodopoulos blinked at this. “They know I’m coming, and they’re doing their duty without distracting themselves.”

The turbolift halted and the doors slid open before the terhăn could speak again. Dalin Rota’s voice rang across the bridge: “Third charge incoming—”

This time the impact nearly sent them sprawling. As soon as he was sure of his footing again, Berat made a dash for the command platform Glinn Yejain stood near but not upon. The glinn withdrew without the need of another word when he sensed Berat’s bioelectric field behind him.

Berat called out: “How are the charges coming in—randomized, or sequential?”

“Randomized, Gul,” Rota supplied as he keyed; Yejain silently drifted away from the command platform and Berat assumed his seat.

Hăcet—they don’t want to make this easy,” Berat muttered, lip quirking up as he stated the obvious. They can’t see us for sure or they would have locked on—but they don’t want to give us any way to predict where the next charge will be. The tactical display popped up on the ovular center screen, revealing not just three detonations, but a dozen, some of them near the Thirteenth Order fleet, a few others far afield. And two trails revealed another pair of incoming charges, each at a different velocity and headed for different coordinates.

Rebek to Berat!” The transmission was staticky, garbled—tightbeam, most likely, which meant the nebular gas was interfering intermittently with the collimated beam’s line of sight.

Seloyote,” Berat called at the ceiling, barely resisting the impulse to call her ‘Zejil.’ Speak, please—the command given to one’s equal.

There’s planetary debris still in the nebula…why don’t we go to silent running, let one of the charges detonate near us—”

“—and make it look like they hit a rock, and we’re the debris!” Berat burst out, eyes wide. “Yes! Copy the other ships in,” he ordered. Yejain was already typing away at a console—working through the logistics for silent running, no doubt, ready to implement as soon as the senior guls gave the word. “Commander, what do you say?”

Spirodopoulos had that narrow-eyed expression again—phaser-focused on the tactical readout. “Could be a tricky balance considering how long we’ve been in the nebula…” Another charge detonated, this one almost dead ahead of the Sherouk. “We’re already pushing the limit on that. But if we cut power to too many systems—the particle flux’ll get us before the Jem’Hadar ever do. We’ll fry, just like that.”

“Just blasting out of here on impulse won’t help either,” Yejain reminded them without accusation. “Your people’s sensors would be completely blind here, but ours—and theirs—will not be to the same degree, not to that. We might be able to get away with a short burn, and maneuvering thrusters until we clear the nebula and go to true silent running…but that’s it.”

Berat nodded towards the terhăn. “Spirodopoulos…do your people have procedures for silent running? I realize they come from many different vessels, but what is Starfleet’s overall level of readiness in that regard?”

The first instant passed expressionless. Come on, Berat willed, we don’t have time for mistrust anymore! We are about to show you our procedures—I need this information!

Then Spirodopoulos nodded with a sharpness that emitted finality. “We do. They aren’t employed often in battle, but we do incorporate it in our regular combat drills, throughout the fleet. They may not know your ships, but they’ll understand the principles.”

We go for it,” Speros cut in over the uplink. “We’re not doing ourselves any favors just sitting here!

Go, then,” Macet concurred. “We draw ourselves together near the far edge, then wait for the next impact. Mendral is transmitting the coordinates and timing now.

Berat nodded at Yejain; the glinn opened the intercom. “Attention, Thirteenth Order personnel—this is Gul Berat. Hear my orders and obey: rig for silent running—all energy dampening and abatement procedures are in effect immediately save for Engineering until impulse burn is completed. Silent running remains in effect until further notice. Berat out!”

There would be no more tightbeam from this point forward. “Mirok,” Berat instructed the chief investigative officer, “coordinate your station with Cronath’s. We’re drawing to a position near the edge—I need you to set up an algorithm that will take that into account and plot a convincing trajectory for us…and avoid collisions once we lower shields. Cronath—you’ll have maneuvering thrusters while we drift, nothing else. You’ll have Mirok’s program, but be ready to intervene manually.”

Hokrol me gorhoç edek,” Cronath replied as he tapped in his adjustments. I understand and obey.

“Bring us into ready position,” Berat ordered. “Then initiate sequence at discretion.”

The thirty-two ships of the Thirteenth Order pulled into a tight formation with a single, simultaneous impulse burn much like what the first Hebitians to break free of the homeworld’s orbit might have employed in their tiny, fragile craft. The fleet had kind of closeness now that was ordinarily seen only in slow-moving freight or settlement convoys on their staid and steady courses—not in a formation about to undertake drastic maneuvers in the vicinity of an explosion
.
“New series of charges,” Dalin Rota called. “One headed almost straight for us, may pass at the fleet’s summersun—” directly above them “—time until detonation unknown.”

There would be no second chances. The Jem’Hadar didn’t ordinarily use this much ammunition on a single patrol; they had to suspect something. It would be an extraordinary gamble; Cardassian experiments on the upgraded Gă’ălour suggested that Jem’Hadar energy sensors were so powerful they could read through a Romulan cloaking device. That said, the fact that the Jem’Hadar found themselves unable to use guided charges in the nebula suggested that what their sensors keyed in on the most was energy rather than chemical composition or shape—and that that energy detecting ability was clouded by the nebula just as it had been by the interference on and around the Lessek system.

Either the Thirteenth Order turned this coming explosion to their benefit or they would be left with no choice but flee the nebula in a far more obvious fashion as the particle flux ate away what little time they had left. They might be able to fight the Jem’Hadar and win, with their numbers, but their enemies would almost certainly get a distress call out and blast descriptions of their fleet throughout the quadrant. A mobile force—a force whose numbers and strength remained unknown for as long as possible…that was the only way to inflict any meaningful wounds on the Dominion.

They had to get away. They had to make sure the Jem’Hadar, in the wake of Lessek, couldn’t know whether the ‘rebel threat’ truly was out there or not, or all their sacrifices could be for naught.

“Initiating burn, one-eighth impulse,” called the helmsman.

The ships’ movements on the viewscreen were slow, deliberate, like a Hebitian submersible. Though he knew it not to be true, it was still easy to imagine that without the inertial dampening field he would feel practically nothing.
Then the charge impact slammed into the Sherouk and the other vessels of the Thirteenth Order, thrusting them hard towards the edge of the nebula.

“They’re too close!” Rota burst out, staring at the tactical display. “The Turrel—they’re out of control, coming right our way!”
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Last edited by Nerys Ghemor; May 24 2011 at 02:27 PM.
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Old May 24 2011, 11:45 AM   #653
Deranged Nasat
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

I'm enjoying the tactical decision-making and the descriptions of the fleet movements. You put as much thought into that as you do anything else, which is a nice change from a lot of screen Trek, to be honest. And the sense of actual battle comes through well - I've always felt it must be hard to write effective war scenes, but The Thirteenth Order has a really satisfying way of keeping the action and tension controlled, so as to be effective without drawing attention away from all the other details of this world - the characters, the language, the culture. Your writing is always so measured, but not in a way that holds anything back, instead it's neatly effective at communicating the desired content.

It strikes me that there's almost a Star Wars feel to this, with the mobile rebel force trying to outwit the more powerful and established force ruling their territories.

I really liked the little cross-service confusion about calling the CO to the bridge - or, the lack of a need to. Makes sense to me - I mean, where else is the gul going to be headed if the ship's rocking itself to pieces? He or she is not going to be wandering down to the mess to pick up a fish juice.

Again, other than that I don't quite know what to say, because it's high quality as usual. One of these days I'll find a major flaw and be merciless about it; this I vow!
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Old May 24 2011, 01:45 PM   #654
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

Shields still seemed to be holding…years of experience had taught him the difference between a direct structural hit and the concussive push as the paired attractor and repulsor shield generators that lent shape and a set distance as well as power to the shields fought to restore balance between themselves and transmitted that force straight to the ship’s structure through the resistance of the repulsors. This had been that kind of hit.
I must find some engineer to tell me what it all means

High quality technobabble!

Wow, Speros surprised me. Agreeing the Spiro's idea so fast...But then, he didn't have that much of a choice, especially if he didn't have a better idea than that.

But that moment of hesitation, when Berat almost begged in the privacy of his thoughts for showing some trust. He got what he needed, but I am not sure if it was his imagination, or Spirodopoulos really took a long moment (considering the situation, it was a long moment if it was noticeable) before making the decision of sharing the information.

A very good, engaging instalment
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Old May 24 2011, 09:06 PM   #655
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

Good scene--hoping for more pretty darn soon!

BTW...out of curiosity, at what point in the Final Chapter are we, right now?
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Old May 25 2011, 02:13 AM   #656
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
I'm enjoying the tactical decision-making and the descriptions of the fleet movements. You put as much thought into that as you do anything else, which is a nice change from a lot of screen Trek, to be honest. And the sense of actual battle comes through well - I've always felt it must be hard to write effective war scenes, but The Thirteenth Order has a really satisfying way of keeping the action and tension controlled, so as to be effective without drawing attention away from all the other details of this world - the characters, the language, the culture. Your writing is always so measured, but not in a way that holds anything back, instead it's neatly effective at communicating the desired content.
Thanks. For how I write war, I am actually somewhat inspired by things like Band of Brothers, Tora! Tora! Tora!, and the new version of Battlestar Galactica.

In this particular case, though, I was also inspired by submarine warfare, kind of like in The Hunt for Red October. I think that as far as the writing style for these kinds of scenes, for better or for worse, it takes most after Tom Clancy.

It strikes me that there's almost a Star Wars feel to this, with the mobile rebel force trying to outwit the more powerful and established force ruling their territories.
Interesting...I actually had not made a connection to Star Wars.

I really liked the little cross-service confusion about calling the CO to the bridge - or, the lack of a need to. Makes sense to me - I mean, where else is the gul going to be headed if the ship's rocking itself to pieces? He or she is not going to be wandering down to the mess to pick up a fish juice.
Exactly. Unless the gul is incapacitated, or cut off from the bridge, there really isn't a reason to doubt.

Again, other than that I don't quite know what to say, because it's high quality as usual. One of these days I'll find a major flaw and be merciless about it; this I vow!


Thanks for reading!

Gul Re'jal wrote: View Post
Shields still seemed to be holding…years of experience had taught him the difference between a direct structural hit and the concussive push as the paired attractor and repulsor shield generators that lent shape and a set distance as well as power to the shields fought to restore balance between themselves and transmitted that force straight to the ship’s structure through the resistance of the repulsors. This had been that kind of hit.
I must find some engineer to tell me what it all means

High quality technobabble!
Well...I tried to make it a little less...um...BABBLE-y than the usual Treknobabble.

I think I can explain what I meant, and hopefully it will make sense.

In real life, there is no way that we are aware of to shape an electromagnetic field. Shaping plasma would probably not be easy either.

In my Trek universe (inspired by Diane Duane), there are two types of fields a ship employs: the skinfield (slang for structural integrity field), and shields. The skinfield is the near-descendent of the polarized hull plating. Its job is to repel space debris, and also to help keep the ship from flying apart at high velocities. It's not a shaped field; it conforms to the shape of the hull.

What we've seen on the series indicates that the shields are a shaped field that appear at a distance from the ship's hull. One thing that never made sense to me was seeing the ship rock when the shields (as opposed to the hull) was hit. After all, the blow has not actually hit the hull and space shouldn't have so many particles that it could actually convey the shock through the shields to the ship. From my layman's knowledge of physics, that did not make sense.

So then I used my BS in B.S. to come up with something that could explain two things that didn't make sense in isolation: force being conveyed through the shields to the ship, and the existence of a shaped field not actually contiguous to the ship's hull.

It occurred to me that there might not be just one shield generator, but two, emitting two opposite forces: an attracting force, and a repelling force. The thin area in between is where the shields exist. I don't know what kind of Treknobabble gets THAT to happen, but it would potentially get around the problem of not being able to shape a forcefield. So when you hit the shields (hitting against what the repulsor generator is doing), the attractor generator has to compensate for the blow. If the two do not stay in balance, then if a killswitch doesn't cause the shields to cut off first, the repulsor would likely be the first generator to fail, and if the attractor generator is still going, it could cause that powerful field to snap back onto the ship, which would interact with the skinfield and hull in all sorts of nasty ways.

But to head this off, there's a safety that cuts off the shields if the damage or the imbalance becomes too severe. This puts the ship at great risk, yes, but with a good helmsman and engineering team, they still stand a chance of getting out of the area even with shields down, which in my universe is considered a better risk to run than the terrible destruction that would come from the shields snapping back onto the hull.

Wow, Speros surprised me. Agreeing the Spiro's idea so fast...But then, he didn't have that much of a choice, especially if he didn't have a better idea than that.
This was definitely a time-sensitive situation, to be sure.

But that moment of hesitation, when Berat almost begged in the privacy of his thoughts for showing some trust. He got what he needed, but I am not sure if it was his imagination, or Spirodopoulos really took a long moment (considering the situation, it was a long moment if it was noticeable) before making the decision of sharing the information.

A very good, engaging instalment
I think it did take Spirodopoulos a moment to make his decision. Not dangerously long, but you're right...in a situation like that, you feel every millisecond of it.

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
Good scene--hoping for more pretty darn soon!
Thanks for reading!

BTW...out of curiosity, at what point in the Final Chapter are we, right now?
This might surprise you, but this is not that long after "The Changing Face of Evil."

One thing about the Sigils universe--which differs from most universes I've seen--is that I assume the events of the final chapter take place not over just a few days or weeks, as the series might seem to indicate, but over a span of months.
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Old May 25 2011, 07:18 PM   #657
Rush Limborg
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

^Indeed. I actually agree on that--you may recall my "DS9 Season 8" thread, in which I reflected on the possibility of, say, a three-month gap between "The Changing Face Of Evil" and "When It Rains...", as "Changing" was pretty darn cliffhangar-worthy.

So...how much time span do you see between those two eps?
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Old May 26 2011, 01:12 AM   #658
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

For the purposes of my story, the section from "The Changing Face of Evil" to the end will span several months. Not QUITE sure of the actual timeline between those episodes...I think I'll get a better sense of it as I start to move away from the Battle of Lessek.
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Old May 26 2011, 08:17 PM   #659
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

A very tense but enjoyable read, NG! There's not much I can add to the comments already made, but I applaud you for making the effort to provide plausible physics behind the ship's fields. So often, sci-fi writers (myself included) have a tendency to just come up with treknology that is based more on fantasy and cool-sounding words. I found that your explanation was subtle but also "real." It seemed to fit the narrative without over-shadowing the plot.

You definitely had a submarine warfare feel going. I was reminded most of the novel, "Run Silent-Run Deep." I thought the tactics you employed in this segment made perfect sense.

Now as to whether they actually survive or not . . .
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Old May 27 2011, 04:05 AM   #660
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

Considering that I am not a tactician, I'm glad to know that those tactics sound like they make sense. We've seen this sort of submarine-like action around nebulae before--the most obvious being the Borg "depth charges" that gave me the idea for what the Jem'Hadar might do (and I imagine that originally came from what people used to do to try to flush out an enemy sub), so I kind of took that and ran.

Never read that novel, but I imagine it would be a good one.

As for the explanation of the shields...I find myself bugged by the way the technobabble got in Trek. There's always going to be an element of fantasy, but what I enjoy is taking things we do know about the universe and then...shall we say...embellishing them, so that it conveys the feeling that we are not that far from a universe where such things really could happen. But in the background--admittedly, there is still "magic."
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