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Old August 12 2009, 09:01 PM   #76
PSGarak
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Re: Star Trek: Tesseract

I like this older, slightly wiser Julian. You've progressed him naturally from when last we saw him at DS9. I also appreciate that Icheb can see the logic of the solution, even if he doesn't like it. It will be interesting to see what comes next.
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Old August 12 2009, 11:52 PM   #77
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Re: Star Trek: Tesseract

Only getting to review the John Quigley section now kes7. Oops. Good installment. it delved into John's friendhip with Icheb without recourse to a flashback - which I've no problem with since I do it all the time hee hee - but the flow of the story is kept up here and we get to the crunch of seeing how the captain will size up her tactical officer. She does indeed have a deft hand handling her subordinates - like I say it's the issue with the Admiral and council I think are going to be her problem. Nicely done by her and a good point about remarking his loyalty as a good attribute to have for the ship - just the care required to think things through.
I liked his own self-evaluation and finding himself wanting. It's nice to see reflective characters and he doesn't appear crippled by his introspection either. His assessment was pretty much the captain's so he has a good head on his shoulders.
Continued good stuff.
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Old August 12 2009, 11:58 PM   #78
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Re: Star Trek: Tesseract

The Bashir and Icheb face to face was well done. Icheb is wary, no doubt worried the good doctor will work out what's up with him and that I think explains the medicore doctors. But I've been wrong before.

Julian was well presented here. His thoughts on Icheb's genetic engineering mirroring thoughts about himself. Also liked how he puzzles things out. Very reflective and of course smart. Liking it very much. And perhaps this more tempered and mature Julain might find a friend in the captain. The two strike me as being a little lonesome but only because we've yet to find out more about them.

And again, good stuff.
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Old August 13 2009, 03:27 AM   #79
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Re: Star Trek: Tesseract

I appreciate the feedback, everyone! Next up ... launch. Finally. (It's about time for them to get going, isn't it?)
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Old August 13 2009, 03:46 AM   #80
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Re: Star Trek: Tesseract

kes7 wrote: View Post
I appreciate the feedback, everyone! Next up ... launch. Finally. (It's about time for them to get going, isn't it?)
Yay! Can't wait!
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Old August 13 2009, 06:36 AM   #81
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Re: Star Trek: Tesseract

PSGarak wrote: View Post
kes7 wrote: View Post
I appreciate the feedback, everyone! Next up ... launch. Finally. (It's about time for them to get going, isn't it?)
Yay! Can't wait!
I agree with our friendly cardassian..you have set it up well!! Will be fun!!!

Rob
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Old August 14 2009, 01:25 AM   #82
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Re: Star Trek: Tesseract

kes7 wrote: View Post
I appreciate the feedback, everyone! Next up ... launch. Finally. (It's about time for them to get going, isn't it?)
Life's been rough emotionally. Star Trek is my favorite, thoughtful escape. I look forward to a new Trek novel just about once a month these days (I pray that Pocket Books maintains this pace, at least!), but I zip through each one in a day or two. I'd forgotten about Tesseract for a little bit, then I logged on and look what I find, a veritable "Tesseract" novella! Like fanfic literary mana from the heavens.

Thanks for your terrific work, Kes. I feel like such a crass glutton for saying it, but: "More, please?!"

You rock.

Much obliged,
D
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Old August 14 2009, 01:35 AM   #83
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Re: Star Trek: Tesseract

Diogenes wrote: View Post
kes7 wrote: View Post
I appreciate the feedback, everyone! Next up ... launch. Finally. (It's about time for them to get going, isn't it?)
Life's been rough emotionally. Star Trek is my favorite, thoughtful escape. I look forward to a new Trek novel just about once a month these days (I pray that Pocket Books maintains this pace, at least!), but I zip through each one in a day or two. I'd forgotten about Tesseract for a little bit, then I logged on and look what I find, a veritable "Tesseract" novella! Like fanfic literary mana from the heavens.

Thanks for your terrific work, Kes. I feel like such a crass glutton for saying it, but: "More, please?!"

You rock.

Much obliged,
D
Diogenes! I was wondering what had happened to you. I'm so glad you came back and found the story again, and that you're enjoying it. Rest assured, I'm working on more.
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Old August 15 2009, 03:10 AM   #84
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Re: Star Trek: Tesseract

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

Captain’s Log, Stardate 62201.85

After the chaotic events of the last 24 hours, we are finally ready to launch our mission to the Delta Quadrant. The launch ceremony is scheduled for 19:00 hours, after which we will engage the slipstream drive and set a course out of the Alpha Quadrant. I am relieved that we seem to have suffered no repercussions from the Sol’s ill-thought-out jump to slipstream this morning, however, the identity of who or what probed my first-officer’s mind still remains a mystery.

Commander Icheb has consented to wear a device that will monitor his neural transceiver for activity and temporarily shut it down with a Kedion pulse if an unauthorized connection is detected, at the same time collecting data about the origin of the connection. Dr. Bashir assures me it is safe, but I hate that I’ve had to ask the commander to wear it, especially due to the risk of injury if he is knocked unconscious by the device, as Lieutenant O’Connor thinks is likely. The Lieutenant is impressively familiar with Borg technology and had little trouble modifying a standard cortical monitor to achieve the desired effect. I plan to ask her more about her experience with Borg systems as soon as I have a chance. Perhaps, with her rather surprising expertise, we can find a more appropriate permanent solution to the problem of the security risk posed by the technology in Commander Icheb’s cortical array.

For now, however, the entire crew is focused on the launch ceremony, as well as tonight’s departure for what is sure to be a fascinating mission.

Inside her quarters, Adele fussed with her dress uniform as she prepared for the launch ceremony. Like most Starfleet officers, she hated the dreaded thing, preferring the simplicity and comfort of her zip-up flight suit. As she put the final pip on the gray collar of her tunic and examined herself in the full length mirror inside the door of her closet, she had to admit she looked good in it, though. The brilliant white jacket set her dark skin off beautifully, and the narrow cut showed off her tall, athletic figure. She might have been a no-nonsense starship captain, but she was still a woman, and she couldn’t help being pleased to have successfully maintained her good looks for 44 years. She thought of Ken, and how proud he would be of her right now. Tears unexpectedly sprang to her eyes at the thought, and she quickly wiped them away. She made one final check in the mirror before exiting her quarters and heading for the bridge.

When she arrived, she was amazed at how crowded it was already, twenty-five minutes before the ceremony was due to start. The spacious command center of the fleet’s largest ship was packed with senior officers. Everyone who was cleared for bridge service was there, it seemed, and the mood was festive. She knew the party had to be even more exciting down on the recreation deck, where the large viewscreen would be broadcasting the actual ceremony from the bridge, for those who lacked sufficient seniority to be there in person. Refreshments and synthehol were being served, and she had heard a rumor that a group of junior officers calling themselves the “ad hoc social committee” had booked three holodecks for a linked post-launch party.

As she walked onto the packed bridge, the officers present all stood up a little straighter and acted a bit more subdued. “As you were,” she said with an amused smile. “Just keep clear of the people who are actually working.”

Indeed, there were seven bridge officers sitting at their various posts, monitoring the ship’s systems and running the usual scans. They seemed to be doing a good job avoiding the temptation to get swept up in the fun, and Adele was proud of them. She walked over to the officer at the main communications console, a Bolian lieutenant named Iden Nix. “Are we all set?” asked Adele.

The Bolian woman nodded. “Starfleet’s on standby and the viewscreen on Deck 10 has been linked up. We’re ready to go.”

Adele nodded. “Good work, Lieutenant.” She noticed Admiral Beckley standing near her ready room surveying the scene, and decided to try and approach him in this slightly less intimidating setting. She walked over to him.

“Admiral, I’m glad you came down for the ceremony,” she said, flashing a warm smile.

The admiral smiled back, but he was as emotionally unreadable now as he had been during their earlier meeting. Damn, thought Adele. He was a bit more talkative, however. “I’m happy to be here,” he said. “This is a fine group of officers you’ve been assigned.” Adele looked out over the crowd and had to agree. She was far from familiar with most of them, but she recognized faces from personnel files and knew they were among the best and brightest officers in the fleet.

“The best of the best, Admiral,” she replied. Noticing Icheb walk onto the bridge, she took the Admiral’s arm. “Here, come with me, I’d like you to meet my first officer.” Admiral Beckley followed silently as Adele guided him over to the young Brunali, who Adele thought looked surprisingly handsome in his dress uniform. “Admiral Beckley,” she said, “this is Commander Icheb, first officer of the Tesseract. Commander, meet Admiral Shane Beckley, part of the mission advisory board. We’ll be meeting with them tonight after the ceremony. 21:00 hours.”

Icheb shook the Admiral’s hand. “It’s nice to meet you, sir,” he said sincerely. Adele noticed that Icheb’s eyes seemed to be searching the room.

“I’m glad to finally meet you as well. I’ve heard a lot about you,” said the Admiral.

Adele continued trying to pick up on any kind of emotional response. The effort proved useless. She would have found it amusing that of the two men she was standing with, the former Borg drone was much more emotionally dynamic than the human, if not for the fact that it seemed so inherently wrong.

“Good things, I hope,” said Icheb, with a smile.

Admiral Beckley smiled his increasingly familiar blank smile back at Icheb. “Of course,” he said.

Icheb’s eyes seemed to lock on someone across the bridge for a moment, and Adele glanced over to see who he was looking at. She saw Maren O’Connor standing in the middle of a small group of officers, laughing and talking animatedly. She was obviously telling some sort of story, and illustrating whatever it was with plenty of hand movements. Even the Vulcan in the group looked almost entertained. All at once, Adele picked up on what Icheb was feeling as he looked at the young woman. The hopeless romantic in her wanted to smile at the sweetness of the attraction and confusion she sensed in him. The Starfleet captain side of her groaned at the headache it was likely to cause down the line. As she recalled the strange interaction between the two officers on the bridge the previous day, she suddenly wondered if this was what the commander had been hiding all along, and felt a bit foolish for allowing her imagination to wander to more dramatic possibilities.

Icheb excused himself politely and Adele watched to see if he approached the pretty engineer. He did not. John Quigley had just walked onto the now-overwhelmingly crowded bridge, and Icheb was headed toward him, instead. She lost sight of both of them as Iden Nix walked up and tapped her on the shoulder.

“It’s 19:00 hours, Captain,” the Bolian said.

“Understood. If you’ll excuse me, Admiral?” she said to Admiral Beckley, who nodded.

“Of course,” he replied.

Adele walked to the front of the bridge, and stood at the base of the viewscreen. She nodded at Iden, who activated the Starfleet feed. The screen lit up with the Starfleet Command insignia, and the room fell quiet as the crowd realized the ceremony was finally going to start. As Ensign Alex Slidell emerged from the crowd and handed her a bottle of champagne, Adele caught Icheb’s eye and motioned for him to join her up front. He nodded and complied. Iden pushed a few buttons on the console above her hairless, ridged blue head and the bridge camera was activated, linking the ceremony to the viewscreen on the recreation deck.

Adele took a deep breath and looked across the bridge at the dozens of officers packed into the space. She smiled broadly, absorbing the moment and wishing more than anything that her Imzadi was alive to see it.

“Welcome aboard the USS Tesseract,” Adele began. “Over the next seven years, I hope to meet every single one of you standing in this room, and all of you watching on the recreation deck, as well,” she said, looking directly into the camera at the rear of the bridge. “But for now, I’ll just introduce myself as your captain, Adele Oyugo. Beside me is Commander Icheb, First Officer of the Tesseract,” Adele said, placing her hand on Icheb's shoulder. Icheb smiled and nodded at the surrounding bridge crew in his typically reserved fashion. Adele noted that the ex-drone was clearly still a curiosity for many of them, as they jostled one another to get a better look.

“I’m not going to make a long speech,” Adele continued. “We’ve got a mission to launch, and really, what can I say that you’re all not already thinking? This is a big moment. For me, for all of you, and for the Federation. We’re about to embark on the journey of a lifetime, revisiting a part of the galaxy that few Federation citizens have ever seen before, and exploring parts of it that none of us has.”

“Almost fifteen years ago, the crew of the USS Voyager made their unexpected arrival in the Delta Quadrant and, over the next seven years, altered the course of history for our galaxy. Without their bravery and perseverance, and without their willingness to forge unique alliances and cross barriers we once thought impossible, we would not be standing here today, on a ship equipped with technology that’s about to take us on a journey of literally hundreds of thousands of light years.”

“In light of all that, I’d like you all to direct your attention to the viewscreen behind me and show your appreciation to some of the crew of Voyager.” Iden activated the comm. link with Starfleet Command and the viewscreen displayed a Starfleet Command banquet room filled with former Voyager crewmen and their families as the crowd on the bridge of the Tesseract broke into applause. There were about thirty people visible on screen. Among those that Adele recognized were Admiral Janeway, Commanders Tom Paris and B’Elanna Torres, Lieutenant Commander Harry Kim, Voyager’s Emergency Medical Hologram (known simply as “The Doctor”), and Annika Hansen -- also known as Seven of Nine.

On screen, Admiral Janeway grinned and raised a glass of champagne. “A few of us who happened to be on Earth tonight are gathered here to celebrate the beginning of your journey and commemorate our own. We were far less prepared and far less equipped than all of you when we were thrown beyond our small corner of the galaxy and forced to go it alone for seven years in an unfamiliar and sometimes hostile environment. Rest assured, if we made it, so will you. You have the benefit of our experience, plus years of research and planning by the best minds in the fleet, devoted to giving you the best chances for success in your exploration of the Delta Quadrant. You also have your extraordinarily talented captain and first officer to lead you,” she said, smiling at Adele and Icheb. “I have no doubt you’ll make the Alpha Quadrant proud.” Kathryn looked at her former colleagues, and they raised their glasses in unison. “To the journey,” they toasted together, and sipped from their champagne glasses.

The bridge of the Tesseract was again noisy with applause. “Thank you, Admiral Janeway,” Adele said, grinning from ear to ear. Glancing across the small crowd of former Voyager crewmembers displayed on the viewscreen, she added, “Thank all of you.”

She turned to face the bridge. “Okay, I think we’re ready.” She looked across the bridge to Admiral Beckley. “Admiral Beckley, do you want to do the honors, sir?” she offered, holding up the bottle of champagne.

“I wouldn’t dream of it, Captain. She’s your ship,” answered the admiral.

Adele grinned at him in genuine gratitude. With dramatic flair, she cracked the bottle on the railing in front of the viewscreen, to the sound of whistles and applause. The bubbly drink sprayed everywhere, soaking both Adele and Icheb along with Adrian Keller, who was sitting at the helm. Adele looked back at the faces of the Voyager crew on the viewscreen. To a one, they wore bittersweet expressions -- genuine enthusiasm mixed with a bit of wistfulness, as they no doubt remembered their own fateful journey. Turning back to the bridge, Adele smiled a bit impishly at her own officers. “Time to go,” she said, feeling like a small child about to open a long-awaited Christmas gift.

The seven on-duty bridge officers swung into action, preparing to activate the slipstream drive. Adele caught Maren’s eye and nodded at her. The chief engineer quickly excused herself and headed for engineering to supervise the initialization procedures. “All right,” Adele said, “Everyone not assigned to the bridge tonight, time to go join the party on the recreation deck or find something useful to do. That’s pretty much all of you, so clear out,” she said firmly, but kindly. “Thank you all for being here.” She turned to the viewscreen, where the comm. link was still active with the Voyager party. “And thank you all for seeing us off.”

On screen, Seven of Nine spoke up. “Icheb,” she addressed her fellow ex-drone and former student. He turned around and faced the viewscreen. “Good luck,” she said, raising her champagne glass. A meaningful glance passed between the two of them, and Icheb flashed his mentor a rare wide grin, momentarily looking every bit as young as he truly was. Adele had never seen him interact with the “other” ex-drone from Voyager before. She found their obvious connection touching. As the rest of the Voyager group began to wish Icheb well and say goodbye, it was clear to Adele they were all quite fond of the commander. She wondered if she would also grow to feel that way, in time.

When Iden cut the comm. link, Adele sat down in the command chair. Icheb took his place beside her. “Bridge to engineering, are we ready?”

Maren’s voice was full of excitement as she replied, “Ready, Captain.”

“Commander Keller,” she directed Adrian, “Engage slipstream drive.”

Adrian tapped at the console for a moment, and Adele instinctively gripped the arms of the command chair even though she knew they wouldn’t actually feel their extreme velocity. On the viewscreen, normal space distorted and then disappeared, replaced by the ethereal blue glow of the quantum slipstream. They were finally on their way.
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Old August 15 2009, 03:25 AM   #85
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Re: Star Trek: Tesseract

Great job with the launch. Looking forward to following more of this ship's adventures.
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Old August 15 2009, 01:11 PM   #86
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Re: Star Trek: Tesseract

Good to see the Tesseract underway. Adele's emotional state ahd to be in flux and that was related with her in the privacy of her own room. I like how in the launch she does not allow herself to be discomfited by the Admiral. Because for some reason he discomfits me! Her growing awareness of her subordinates and their potential to cause headaches with romances and everything else to boot is the mission becoming a reality for her. They are going to be out there and on their own for a time to come.

Then we have the message from Janeway and the Voyager crewmembers. Totally spot on that they would have mixed opinions and feelings about this mission. And it is a fitting touch to have them address the crew. For Icheb it must be difficult to be setting off for a corner of the universe he knows so well but with a crew he has yet to know and trust in - thankfully he has his friends to call upon.

Onwards then to the adventures.
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Old August 15 2009, 06:28 PM   #87
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Re: Star Trek: Tesseract

A nice, understated launching ceremony for such an auspicious mission. Having Voyager's crew participate was a nice touch, a definite homage to all they accomplished in their time in the DQ. Captain Oyugo did well with the requisite pomp-and-circumstance, despite her still being unable to get a bead on the admiral.

I'll be fascinated to see what's become of the various species Voyager introduced us to, and how the Delta Quadrant has fared in the intervening years.
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Old August 15 2009, 08:04 PM   #88
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Re: Star Trek: Tesseract

I liked this, and I agree with the others, that seeing some of Voyager's former crew was completely appropriate to the launch. The Delta Quadrant touched and shaped all of them during their ordeal. It will always be a part of them, so it's not surprising at all to see their interest in this project. You portrayed the emotions well.
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Old August 15 2009, 10:03 PM   #89
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Re: Star Trek: Tesseract

I feel like I always do when I get to the end of a good Trek book. Appreciative. And anxious for the next installment of the adventure. Thank you, Kes. I look forward to enjoying more of your work.

Peace, Long Life, and an absence of writers' block to you.
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Old August 15 2009, 10:26 PM   #90
kes7
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Re: Star Trek: Tesseract

Gibraltar wrote: View Post
A nice, understated launching ceremony for such an auspicious mission. Having Voyager's crew participate was a nice touch, a definite homage to all they accomplished in their time in the DQ. Captain Oyugo did well with the requisite pomp-and-circumstance, despite her still being unable to get a bead on the admiral.

I'll be fascinated to see what's become of the various species Voyager introduced us to, and how the Delta Quadrant has fared in the intervening years.
Since they're launching from deep space already, it's just not practical to have a bunch of Starfleet brass travel that far just for a ceremony, and Janeway jumped at the chance to 'pass the torch,' so to speak. So they ended up with something pretty intimate and meaningful instead of a lot of fanfare and premature congratulations. Much more Adele's style, anyway.

Even though the ceremony itself may have been understated, I don't think there's anything understated about the rest of the crew's celebration happening on Deck 10. It's a good thing synthehol doesn't cause hangovers! (Unless you're Borg, which means it's a good thing Icheb has a meeting to go to, lest he wind up stumbling around repeating "We are as one" like Seven did in Timeless. )

Thanks, everyone who left comments. I'm grateful for the feedback. More coming!

ETA: Oh, Diogenes, we're FAR from done here. Keep checking back.
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