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Old August 7 2012, 04:25 PM   #16
Count Zero
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Re: UT:TFV - Part II - Scorched Earths

Looks like Sandhurst has fallen in with some bad people...
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Old August 8 2012, 05:46 PM   #17
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Re: UT:TFV - Part II - Scorched Earths

A lot of interesting things happening here. Most shocking perhaps is the idea that even though this is good old Liana Ramirez, she's also clearly not. The true state of the Baron is fascinating and the idea that Ramirez is planning to take over where he's left off is just sad and scary. I'm dreading the inevitable and very painful reunion with her former crew and commander.

Are the Amon responsible for the vicious attack on the Klingon colony? I may have missed that part but if they are, wow, did Sandhurst ever pick the wrong ally. Then again, of course, it was really more the other way around, wasn't it?

Awesome stuff.
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Old August 8 2012, 10:18 PM   #18
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Re: UT:TFV - Part II - Scorched Earths

I think the attack on the colony might have been conducted by the other Amon tribe the Amon woman mentioned in her conversation with Sandhurst. She said they were pretty miserable and on their last leg when they arrived. Presumably, they were able to provide for them because they just openly attack and kill others whereas Sandhurst's future tribe seems to be a bit more ethical.
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Old August 12 2012, 11:13 PM   #19
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UT:TFV - Part II - Scorched Earths (Chapter 1 continued)

Chapter 1 <cont'd>

Amon Homeship Transcendent
78.2 Parsecs from the Tarantula Nebula


Sandhurst parried her blow easily and with a fluidity he would not have believed possible only weeks earlier. The staff felt right in his hands somehow, as if it had always been meant to be paired with him.

He had never been especially coordinated, and as an engineer his hand-to-hand combat skills had always been subpar. Now, however, he found himself moving with a speed and grace that he had never known. It was, Nestrala had informed him, yet another benefit of the life-essence. Though she had been weaning him off of it for some time now in preparation for his return to Starfleet, he still retained some of the physiological advantages from his exposure to that energy source.

She thrust her staff towards him. “Don’t think,” she instructed, “react!”

The deshouri seemed to jump in his hands, as if he were trying to contain the bridled energy of the pole-arm. Before he was fully cognizant of what had happened, his staff clashed with hers, the resulting collision of weapons sending both of them staggering backwards.

“Just so,” Nestrala said with an approving smile.

Sandhurst brought his weapon back up into the ready stance, as she had taught him.

Nestrala began to circle him, probing for weakness with the occasional feint, but Sandhurst refused to be so easily baited.

“Zeischt,” she began as she set her staff to twirling around her waist and through both hands like a majorettes’ baton. “There is something of import we must discuss before you return to your people.”

He eyed the spinning weapon closely as he responded, “I’m listening.”

“We have spoken of other Amon tribes,” Nestrala noted as she swung the head of her staff low, prompting Sandhurst to sidestep deftly out of the way.

“We have,” he agreed noncommittally.

“One of our fellow tribes has done something you will doubtless find objectionable,” she revealed.

“Do tell,” Sandhurst said as he slid his hands to a wider grip on the battle-staff and drove towards her with it.

She brought the head of her staff up under the haft of his, pulling the weapon from his grasp, and then cuffing him across the back with the base of her weapon as momentum carried Sandhurst staggering past her. “Clumsy,” she assessed.

He reached back to rub the small of his back ruefully.

“Our brethren are far more steeped in our peoples’ martial traditions. It appears they wished to test their mettle against a warrior species from your quadrant,” she announced as he stooped to recover his weapon.

That stopped Sandhurst cold. The head of his deshouri thudded against the padded floor as his concentration faltered. “What’s happened?”

“They fell upon a colony belonging to that warrior people. Klingons, you call them. They reportedly fought well, but as you yourself have seen, our capabilities are especially formidable.”

Sandhurst stepped towards her, his expression caught between anger and disbelief. “Nestrala, you told me your people don’t kill any longer to obtain life-essence.”

“Our tribe does not, but there are other tribes whose culture has evolved in the millennia since our Diaspora began.”

“Evolved?” Sandhurst spat incredulously. “Annihilating an innocent colony doesn’t sound especially ‘evolved’ to me.”

“It is their way,” she replied simply.

“And that’s supposed to make it all right?” Sandhurst threw the battle-staff onto the mats angrily. “The Klingons are my people’s allies. They fought alongside us during the Dominion War. Without their ferocity and skill, we’d have been conquered.”

“Then I grieve their passing with you, Zeischt. Our Council of Battle has convened to discuss the matter, and I would expect a formal protest will be levied against the tribe responsible.”

“Oh, a formal protest,” Sandhurst exclaimed with mock enthusiasm. “I’m sure that’ll have them trembling in their armor.”

“It is an awkward situation for us,” Nestrala explained, looking vaguely unsettled. It was the first time Sandhurst had seen her express any discomfort with her people’s actions or beliefs. “The tribe in question is the very same that allows us transit to and from your galaxy. Without their help, we would be unable to successfully follow the Great Exodus from the Delta Quadrant.”

“And what prevents them from simply doing as you have?” Sandhurst pried. “Why won’t they simply feed off the available ‘supply’ that the exodus affords you?”

Her answer was as heartfelt as it was troubling. “They, like us, are predators at heart. To them, life is expressed most meaningfully in the challenge of the hunt, the glory of the battle, and the elation of the kill.”

“We’re talking about people, Nestrala, not prey animals. Sentient beings.”

“No one is more aware of that than we,” Nestrala underscored. “We honor the energy of those beings that sustains us.”

“That’s all well and good if that energy falls into your lap because of a misfortune you didn’t cause, but going out and killing in order to collect it is barbarism!”

She stepped into him, looking up into his face with eyes that had grown suddenly flinty. Sandhurst had to consciously fight the urge to take a step back from her. “I share your feelings on the manner, Zeischt, but there is nothing we can do except raise our voices in protest. Even were we not dependent upon them for our translocation to your galaxy, no Amon tribe has ever made war on another.”

“I won’t be a party to the Amon wantonly killing to fill their stomachs.”

“You have my word that our tribe will do everything in our power to convince our brethren to follow our example.”

“And if that’s not enough?” he asked.

Nestrala had no answer for him.

*****
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Old August 12 2012, 11:38 PM   #20
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Re: UT:TFV - Part II - Scorched Earths

WTF! Admittedly I leap frogged a bit, but wow, it seems like you've upended your series in a major way. Ramirez alive? Sandhurst sleeping with the enemy? A Klingon massacre? Seeing the response to that should be fun.
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Old August 13 2012, 12:18 AM   #21
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Re: UT:TFV - Part II - Scorched Earths

Gibraltar, I'm not sure how to ask this, but are you by any chance watching this season of "True Blood"? Interesting parallels (though, your storyline is infinitely more interesting ... and subtle.)
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Old August 13 2012, 12:39 AM   #22
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Re: UT:TFV - Part II - Scorched Earths

TrekkieMonster wrote: View Post
Gibraltar, I'm not sure how to ask this, but are you by any chance watching this season of "True Blood"? Interesting parallels (though, your storyline is infinitely more interesting ... and subtle.)
I have actually only ever seen one episode of True Blood, from about four years ago.

Thanks for reading and commenting!
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Old August 13 2012, 01:46 AM   #23
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Re: UT:TFV - Part II - Scorched Earths

Gibraltar wrote: View Post
TrekkieMonster wrote: View Post
Gibraltar, I'm not sure how to ask this, but are you by any chance watching this season of "True Blood"? Interesting parallels (though, your storyline is infinitely more interesting ... and subtle.)
I have actually only ever seen one episode of True Blood, from about four years ago.

Thanks for reading and commenting!
That's actually what I figured, of course (and you're not really missing all that much.) As I tried to allude to, the tension you have created between the two Amon tribes is much more interesting and layered (in this short time you've had to establish both), but I couldn't help but find the parallels interesting. And, yes, I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I watch "True Blood". Sorry to take things off track.

Oh, and if I neglected to say it, I really enjoyed the most recent installment. Among other things, I really liked how you portrayed the influence of the life essence on Sandhurst, as well as his "return" to his historical self, and sensibilities.
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Old August 15 2012, 06:18 PM   #24
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Re: UT:TFV - Part II - Scorched Earths

Ah ok, I'm with it now, so it is this other Amon tribe responsible for the senseless killing and attack. And it looks as if even the advanced Amon are not beyond inter-species politics.

I suppose Nestrala will have to demonstrate how important Zeischt is to her and her people exactly cuz I cannot imagine Sandhurst agreeing to join any kind of race that condones this kind of behavior.
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Old August 17 2012, 05:02 AM   #25
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UT:TFV - Part II - Scorched Earths (Chapter 1 continued)

Chapter 1 <cont'd>

USS Europa


The ship was less than twenty minute out from In’Drahn station, and DuaNam and his political retinue were awaiting the arrival of the Starfleet contingent. However, before that meeting came to fruition, T’Ser had one more piece of ship’s business to attend to.

Lar’ragos stepped into the ready room at T’Ser’s prompting, bringing himself to attention in front of the captain’s desk. Without looking up from her padd, T’Ser instructed, “At ease, Commander. Have a seat.”

As Lar’ragos settled into the chair opposite her, his features remained impassive. T’Ser continued to make notations on her padd for a few moments, but if Lar’ragos minded the additional wait, it didn’t show.

Finally, she set the padd on the desktop and raised her eyes to inspect the El Aurian. “Can you please explain to me, Mister Lar’ragos, why you felt it was necessary to try and undermine Commander Pell’s confidence in her own leadership abilities?”

"Permission to speak freely, Captain?” he asked by way of reply.

T’Ser dipped her head. “Granted.”

“In our present circumstances, the commander’s abilities are insufficient to meet the potential challenges we’re facing,” Lar’ragos said simply.

“And you felt it was necessary and prudent to share this revelation with her at this time?”

“I did,” he confirmed.

“Did you threaten her?” T’Ser asked pointedly.

“If you’re asking if I threatened her with physical violence, I did not. I did, however, point out some of the potential dangers she might pose to the mission and the crew if she continued to serve in the capacity of XO.”

T’Ser leaned back in her chair, eyeing Lar’ragos like something under a microscope. “With everything else going on right now, you do realize that this is the last thing I need? Our captain is missing, and my XO used to be romantically involved with him. She’s under more than enough stress without you adding to her burdens.”

“Your XO is a former freedom fighter whose past colors how she perceives the present,” Lar’ragos countered. “She has first hand experience with suffering under the boot of a merciless invader. As a result she won’t be able to bring herself to use one of our Alpha Weapons against a refugee fleet, regardless of our orders.”

“You don’t know that,” T’Ser snapped hotly in response.

Lar’ragos said, “I most assuredly do.” He crossed his legs and rested his hands in his lap. “Just as I know that Pell is unable to distance herself emotionally from Sandhurst, especially now. There’s a strong probability that she will do something to compromise the mission if it means possibly securing the captain’s freedom. She’ll defy your orders, she’ll put the ship and crew in danger.”

T’Ser shook her head minutely as she exclaimed, “That’s wild speculation.”

“Pell Ojana defied orders to rescue Captain Glover from Cardassian insurgents, sir. Glover is one of her oldest friends. Now try to imagine what she’d be capable of if it meant rescuing the man she loves.”

“Their relationship ended almost a year ago,” T’Ser offered.

A faint smile drew across Lar’ragos’ lips. “She still loves him and mourns the loss of their bond.”

“You can’t know that,” T’Ser blurted, sounding less-than-absolutely certain of that fact.

“And yet I do, just as I know you’d do the same if it were Dale McBride in danger.”

At the mention of her dead fiancé’s name, T’Ser rose to her feet, her face darkening with a decidedly greenish blush. “You are way out of line, Mister!”

“The first time I met you aboard Bluefin, you were practically oozing grief through your pores,” Lar’ragos said quietly. Suddenly it seemed like someone had sucked all the oxygen out of the compartment. T’Ser wanted to cut the El Aurian off and dismiss him from the room, but she couldn’t find the will to do either.

“Now, though,” he continued, “it surrounds you like a faint corona. It’s still there, and probably always will be, but it doesn’t infect the core of you like it once did. That’s where Pell is with Sandhurst right now, it’s still fresh, raw, still coming out her pores.”

T’Ser sank silently back down into her chair, at a loss for words.

“I’ll be the first to admit that I have more than my share of demons, Captain. The difference is, mine are in the distant past, like echoes of old pain. My head is clear, and I’m able to make the hard choices.”

“I won’t dismiss Pell out of hand,” T’Ser insisted.

Lar’ragos answered, “Nobody’s asking you to, sir. Pell’s duties as our diplomatic officer and the supervisor of the TOC keep her more than sufficiently busy, and she’s damned good at both. However, none of those responsibilities will force her to have to contemplate committing genocide.”

T’Ser regarded him cautiously, unsure whether she had just been brazenly manipulated, or whether Lar’ragos was simply making good sense.

“I’ll think on it,” she said finally.

“That’s all I ask, Captain.”

*****
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Old August 18 2012, 11:37 AM   #26
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Re: UT:TFV - Part II - Scorched Earths

Very nice scene, extremely well written. Classic Pava, at his smoothest; and really helped solidify T'Ser's state of mind at the moment. I especially liked your very simple but impactful tie-in to her history on the Bluefin. For those of us familiar with (or addicted to) that series, it was especially evocative.
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Old August 18 2012, 11:18 PM   #27
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Re: UT:TFV - Part II - Scorched Earths

Gibraltar,
I think I've finally caught up with the rest of the series, and I have to say that your writing has been top notch since the beginning, which isn't always the case with fan fiction writers. Kudos!

I'd like to ask a question if I may. I apologize if this has been answered already and I missed it. But is the Baron supposed to be a Star Trek take on Doctor Who's time lords? Or is he an actually time lord? Would you mind elaborating a little more on the character from the authors perspective? I'd be interested in hearing how you developed him as you were writing. Thanks!
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Old August 19 2012, 06:22 AM   #28
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Re: UT:TFV - Part II - Scorched Earths

theonering wrote: View Post
I'd like to ask a question if I may. I apologize if this has been answered already and I missed it. But is the Baron supposed to be a Star Trek take on Doctor Who's time lords? Or is he an actually time lord? Would you mind elaborating a little more on the character from the authors perspective? I'd be interested in hearing how you developed him as you were writing. Thanks!
Thank you very much for the kind words, I'm very glad you've enjoyed the series.

To aswer your question, the Baron is an actual Gallifreyan Time Lord whose origin and background are detailed in my story Geometries of Chance. He’s now stranded in our UT Trek universe, and has a whole host of enemies he wants to exact vengeance on, with Donald Sandhurst at the top of his list (when he can remember that list, of course).
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Old August 19 2012, 06:42 AM   #29
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Re: UT:TFV - Part II - Scorched Earths

Gibraltar wrote: View Post
theonering wrote: View Post
I'd like to ask a question if I may. I apologize if this has been answered already and I missed it. But is the Baron supposed to be a Star Trek take on Doctor Who's time lords? Or is he an actually time lord? Would you mind elaborating a little more on the character from the authors perspective? I'd be interested in hearing how you developed him as you were writing. Thanks!
Thank you very much for the kind words, I'm very glad you've enjoyed the series.

To aswer your question, the Baron is an actual Gallifreyan Time Lord whose origin and background are detailed in my story Geometries of Chance. He’s now stranded in our UT Trek universe, and has a whole host of enemies he wants to exact vengeance on, with Donald Sandhurst at the top of his list (when he can remember that list, of course).
I figured as much, I just don't remember any mention of the obvious key words (Gallifrey, time lord, the doctor, the master, TARDIS, etc.) the regeneration scene made it clear though.I'll definitely be rereading Geomatries of Chance in the near future since it seems the baron will have a significant role to play in this story.
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Old August 19 2012, 02:16 PM   #30
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Re: UT:TFV - Part II - Scorched Earths

Pava has a way to cut right through to people, doesn't he? Both physically but also emotionally. What a bastard he is. And yet so damn good at what he does.
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