Arc of the Wolf: True Bearings

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by SLWatson, Nov 23, 2008.

  1. SLWatson

    SLWatson Captain Captain

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    Arc of the Wolf: True Bearings - Reflected

    Title: Reflected
    Rating: G
    Pairing: None
    Timeline: September 2246
    Words: 1443
    Disclaimer: Scott is Paramount's property, everyone else is not.
    Notes: Jay gets an unexpected call from his son; short, kind of bittersweet. Written for Trekfan, in a roundabout way. Edited by the ever-lovely Teddog. Last one of this set.

    --

    The sunlight reflected off of the water so brightly that he had to keep from looking at it directly; high summer, on the ocean, and the light seemed to come from all directions. From the sky, off of the water, off of the polished decking of the ship. Nice, but only in short amounts. He liked the dusk and twilight better -- colors, planet-rise, and easier on the skin and eyes.

    The Denevan oceans were deeper and wider than Earth's; he'd liked the long stretches of nothingness back when he'd first worked on them, and still found a good deal of peace there now. He did miss Earth sometimes -- there was no way to be tied to a planet through evolution, right to an elemental level without missing it on some unspoken level -- but for now, this was the best place for him.

    Jay McMillan had a lot of good reasons for staying here, but the biggest one had a name.

    Despite that regret, though, it was a decent life. He worked hard, and had a good flat he only saw once every few months. There was also a pretty lass, his age, who he hooked up with when he came into port -- a casual relationship, just dating. She was a widow, and they both enjoyed going out and having a meal in unassuming company. He stayed in contact with Winslow, too, getting updates on his former business.

    And the occasional update about his son.

    He wasn't sure how he felt when he found out that Montgomery had been court-martialed by Starfleet; according to what little he'd heard, it wasn't a cut and dried affair. On one hand, he wanted to be disappointed -- after all that boy had to fight to get into Starfleet and out of the range of influence his family levied on him, it seemed to be an entirely foolish thing to get into trouble like that.

    But on the other hand, it wasn't a matter of Montgomery doing something immoral, unethical or otherwise. Even with just the barest of details that he had, Jay knew that the lad had done what he had because he was still fighting back against the myriad forces that had done their level best to reduce him to a ghost. And when it was all over, and the conviction came, word was that he had no regret for the choices he'd made, even though those choices were ones that flew in the face of the rules and expectations of others.

    And on that hand, Jay couldn't help but be a bit fiercely proud of his son.

    That had been a few years ago now; last update was that the lad was still in Starfleet and hadn't gotten into any further trouble.

    It was rare when a day passed that Jay didn't think of him in some way, even just a passing thought about where he was and what he was doing. Therefore, it didn't seem all that much like a coincidence when Jay had been thinking about him and the call came on the tails of those thoughts.

    "Hey, Jay! Got a call!" The first mate Jess called, from the deckhouse forty feet above him. "Starfleet apparently wants to talk to ya!"

    He knew in an instant who it was; likewise didn't know why or what he would say. An anxious thought occurred that the boy might be calling to ask some very difficult questions; nervous as that thought made Jay, however, he didn't waste any time going inside and climbing the stairs to the deckhouse. If that was the case, he'd find a way to give the answers. If it wasn't... well, it'd still be a good thing to at least set eyes on the child he'd been half responsible for.

    Jess was looking at him oddly when he got there, a kind of measuring look. Jay scowled it off, then headed over to the comm station.

    He knew immediately that Montgomery wasn't going to be asking any of those questions; he looked tired, but like he was in good spirits. Jay imagined that if the topic ever came up, that would not be the expression that would go with it. But Jay was instantly struck with just how much the lad had grown up, even since his Basic Training graduation photo. Still boyish, but he was strong-jawed and strong-shouldered, and Jay knew where both those features came from. He saw them every day in the mirror.

    "Sir," the lad said, not quite comfortably but not really anxiously, either. "If I'm interruptin' anything important..."

    "Ye're not," Jay said, trying hard to keep from looking too much of anything. Like surprised. Or happy. Or regretful. "How've ye been?"

    "Well enough." There was a pause, a bit awkward, then he said, "Since I'm in orbit, I thought I'd call."

    "Aye?" Jay asked, trying to sound casual. "One o' the Horizon ships?"

    "Aye, the Horizon Sun. Engineering adviser." Montgomery grinned, a little sardonically. "Which is a nice way o' sayin' that I'm on call and doin' everything that no one else wants to."

    Jay had to chuckle at that. It was short lived, but it put a pause in his own anxiety for a moment before he said, "Heard from Winslow that ye got yerself into some trouble. I'm guessin' ye'd rather be where ye are, than where ye coulda ended up."

    "Aye." The lad shrugged, mostly one-shouldered, with a half-smile. "It's honest work, and I'll eventually get where I was aimin' for."

    Jay didn't doubt that. He tried to cast about for something to say, but drew a blank. What do you say, to the child you're not able to acknowledge? How do you stop yourself from staring in wonder at someone you had a part in creating, and not just want to talk about that pride? That regret? The hope, the sorrow? He cleared his throat, forcing those thoughts down. "I'm sure ye will," he said, after a moment.

    "Anyway, though..." There was a long pause while the boy studied the desktop in front of him, with the thoughtful look Jay remembered from too long ago. Then he looked back up with the directness that was new, at least to Jay -- a certainty, a confidence, that made Jay's heart ache. "I wanted to thank you. Up an' down as my career's been so far, it's still my own."

    There were no words for what Jay felt; for all that he felt in that moment. That any statement of gratitude could ever cause such warmth and pain, all at once. He knew that there would be little more said, that this conversation was coming to a close. He wondered if there was ever a way to express how he felt right then, and knew of only one. There was no way to keep it out of his voice, and maybe, in a way, that was all right.

    "I'm proud of ye," Jay said, past the tightness in his chest and throat; past the sting in his eyes that he prayed would hold off until this was over.

    There was an eternal moment where some of his own sorrow and warmth was echoed back to him, unknowing and uneasy though it was. And Jay knew he had hit some nerve, still raw, that needed more time to heal. But after a moment of looking down, in some silent internal war, his son looked back up and tipped his chin up. "I have to get back to work. But..." and he nodded there, a subtle bow, "...thanks again. And take care."

    "Take care," Jay managed to say, with a half-smile. "I'm glad ye called."

    "I am too." And with a sort of reassuring last glance, the lad ended the call.

    It was a long time, he didn't know how long, before Jay was able to pull his face out of his hands and get back to work. Even longer before he was able to get back to living his life, and not dwelling so much on his mistakes. Somehow, the knowledge that his mistakes and Cait's hadn't managed to destroy what they'd created, though, made it just a little bit easier.

    And despite it all, he believed that last glance which said, "It's all right."
     
  2. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Arc of the Wolf: True Bearings - Reflected

    Very nice to see the interaction between these two now that Scott's come to a place in his life where I can more easily empathize. I didn't really read "Junkyard Dogs," but I still enjoyed this.

    I also like your reflections on Jay's attachments to Deneva and Earth. :)
     
  3. SLWatson

    SLWatson Captain Captain

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    Re: Arc of the Wolf: True Bearings - Reflected

    I think, if I wove the earlier stuff well enough and I weave the later stuff well enough, you'll understand the young, half-feral Scotty a lot better. But I have way too much to write yet, before it all clicks. That's part of the joy of writing it, though; arcs within arcs within eras, within the broad story of a person's life. If I do my job well, then hopefully you'll want to go back and re-read the early stuff with new perspective.

    Still, that's awhile to go yet.

    Thanks so much for the comment! I hadn't originally planned on revisiting Jay, but I was glad I could. He's a good man and I came to care a lot about him in Junkyard Dogs; it seemed only fair to give him one more look.
     
  4. SLWatson

    SLWatson Captain Captain

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    Arc of the Wolf: True Bearings - Notes and Things

    All right, this is the last set I'm posting here until I have more done. Alas, I don't know when that'll be, since I've been suffering a very agonizing writer's block for awhile now. But if you want to read what else I do have out of context, you can find all of the stories here. If you're looking for some Christmas fluff, It's All Engineering is a good piece requiring no real context. But that's up to you -- there are big pieces missing in there.

    There's one story written for me by someone else (Trekfan) to add to this set. Half-canon, but as always, wonderful: A possible look at Corry and Abby's not-quite-first date.

    Title: First Date
    Author: Trekfan
    Rating: G
    Pairing: Abby/Corry
    Timeline: July 2246
    Words: 1543
    Disclaimer: Scott belongs to Paramount; Pete belongs to Trekfan. SLWatson belongs to the rest of 'em and then some. ::grins::
    Notes: Written as half of a trade by Trekfan! So, tell him what you think. A possible look at Corry's first time out with Abby. As he said, "okay, here's a story for SLWatson, about dear Mr. Corriagan. As always, any and all comments are welcome. This story I particulary enjoyed writing (partly inspired by my 11th grade history teacher). enjoy."

    Of course, there are more goodies, but I'll get to them tomorrow. In the meantime, I shall explain the story behind South Bristol, Maine.

    Back when I picked this particular hometown for Corry, I had done so by basically throwing a digital dart at a map and came up with this. I only knew I wanted him to be from New England, and on a bit of a lark, from Maine. I hunted around the internet (this back when it was a much smaller place) and came across a picture of a pretty town where the sun was rising on the docks.

    Enter, South Bristol.

    The thing about evolving storylines is that you don't always know what will happen. I had no idea that South Bristol would be anything more than a mention, but as time went on and I kept asking questions, it emerged as being a place that held a significant amount of importance. Not because it was the site of some grand endeavor, but because, like all of us have at some point in our lives, it's the 'home territory' for at least two of the most important parts of my cast.

    So, for about six years this story came back to visit Midcoast Maine, and that region between Wiscasset and Pemaquid Penninsula. I'd never been to Maine; in fact, I'd never been into New England, really, past Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. So I relied on a ton of research, and fell in love with this place through my characters' eyes.

    Finally, the opportunity came up for me to take my very first adult vacation. And, there was only one place I wanted to go. So, this year in September, my friend Rach and I went to South Bristol.

    There's something kind of remarkable about walking around the home territory of your characters, even a couple centuries before they do.

    So, here are my pictures -- South Bristol, Boothbay Harbor, Damariscotta... a whole bunch of pictures of the space where my characters walk. Large images, so don't browse on slow connections.

    Midcoast Maine.
     
  5. SLWatson

    SLWatson Captain Captain

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    Arc of the Wolf: True Bearings - Artwork

    So, the last bit of artwork (for now, anyway) that goes along with this set. Some sketches, some actual colored work, a digital painting or two.

    Breathless - I'm not too good at backgrounds or anything else, but I trip out on lighting and the pose is pretty good (for once). Scotty, awestruck, in EV gear. Was gonna go and do the whole story in images, but lost my will on it after awhile.

    Laughter - Just a really rough sketch, but I totally adore it. Mostly because the little SOB doesn't laugh nearly enough. So, it's endearing to me.

    Winter in Maine - Another rough sketch I love. Somewhere around the time of Bookends.

    Just Askin' - Another sketch, originally done for practice, definitely from Bookends. Corry trying to put the brakes on Scotty, before he goes and asks Corry's crush if she wants to join them for coffee.

    Be Careful - Full black-and-white digital painting from 'Mothers and Sons'. Didn't come out too bad.

    Corry in Color - Just a quick portrait I did to show Corry's coloring. Probably somewhere around summer of 2246. He's a tawny kind of blond.
     
  6. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Arc of the Wolf: True Bearings - Artwork

    Very nice! I especially like "Breathless"--the expression is just perfect!

    As for "Be Careful"...it's kinda strange to see that one. There's emotion there, but they both kind of look like they're holding back.
     
  7. SLWatson

    SLWatson Captain Captain

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    Re: Arc of the Wolf: True Bearings - Artwork

    "Messed up and off-balanced" maybe? ;) Thanks for the comments!
     
  8. DavidFalkayn

    DavidFalkayn Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Arc of the Wolf: True Bearings - Artwork

    Very well done vignettes--just the spot for before grading finals.
     
  9. SLWatson

    SLWatson Captain Captain

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    Re: Arc of the Wolf: True Bearings - Artwork

    Thanks very much, and thanks for reading so far!
     
  10. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Arc of the Wolf: True Bearings - Artwork

    I just read through this. Lobster Wars is my next chapter. A few comments.

    "She sings!" had me all choked up. The whole story of Cory's return home was amazing. Rachel's fall was well done-as someone who's had to deal with that type of situation, I thought you got the "feeling" of the situation dead on. Your explanation of Scotty's work on the Enterprise, particularly the short bit about him going EVA, was dynamite imagery. Usually, when I read anything, I read very fast-superfluous words are ignored and assumed as I gather the 'meat' of the story. It's actually useful when reading some of the less-polished work on this sight. Cuts down on the pain in my grammarian soul.:lol: That having been said-I read every word, every sentence you write. It's just such beautiful prose that I don't want to risk missing a key word or nuance. IMO, you could easily support yourself as a fiction writer if you gave it the kind of passion and effort these tales reflect. I'd buy anything you published, guaranteed.
     
  11. SLWatson

    SLWatson Captain Captain

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    Re: Arc of the Wolf: True Bearings - Artwork

    Oh, I can't wait to see what you think of that one.

    I'm honored. Seriously, I am. My very favorite author is Norman Maclean, who approached writing as his father taught him: "It's good, now cut out a third of the words." If I ever get to be as half as good as he is, then I'll be happy.

    Funny enough, I've never felt the urge to write original fiction; fanfic allows me to indulge in several passions (history, psychology, writing and in this case, Star Trek). I think I get my best compensation from it just... putting it out there and hoping people enjoy it, and maybe even take something away from it. In my day-job of sorts, I'm a stringer for the local paper, where I'm paid by piece to write little human-interest stories. By night, I just read or write fanfic, when I'm not doing household chores.

    Again, thank you very much for the kind words. I'm touched, and humbled by them.
     
  12. mirandafave

    mirandafave Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Reading my way through the stories and thoroughly enjoying the insight into Scotty [and others]. Your work has a lot of internal drive and honesty to them that I find absorbing. So well done on a great job.
     
  13. SLWatson

    SLWatson Captain Captain

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    Thank you very much! I hope that I don't end up disappointing by stumbling along the way.
     
  14. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well "Lobster Wars" was a kick. And that line about"Understanding what it was like to have a home...." was priceless-I wish I could write something that insightful just once-then I could die content. I have to admit, I was a bit disappointed, though. I wanted to keep reading but it all ended.
     
  15. SLWatson

    SLWatson Captain Captain

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    ::laughs:: Well, it didn't end, but there are a lot of big stories missing between this and the next part. As I said before, if people don't mind reading 'em out of context, there are quite a few more stories. But I've given up trying to explain the parts that are missing, and figured I'd hold off on posting them until I actually filled in the gaps.

    Thanks so much for reading, and commenting!
     
  16. SLWatson

    SLWatson Captain Captain

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    Random picture, from the story 'Bookends'. It is warm and fluffy and makes me happy. The picture, that is, not the story. About an hour and a half (real quick piece) on a Wacom Bamboo, in Photoshop CS2.
     
  17. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Oh, that IS comforting to look at! Makes me actually want to go to bed early...curl up with a book... :)
     
  18. SLWatson

    SLWatson Captain Captain

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    Sleepy, early-morning Scotty for the win! It does. I have a thing for warm yellow light. I'm gonna go to bed regardless, but I was glad I managed to successfully draw something for once and finish it.
     

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