Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by kes7, Jun 20, 2010.
YAY! new chapter!
get cracking kes. you've been holding out on us... its not nice you know....
Adele finds a potential new ally... and Maren attempts one of the grandest (and most risky) games of brinkmanship I've ever seen.
This could go so very wrong... but Maren's correct on one account, Starfleet's regulations are very clear and precise where the Omega molecule is concerned.
get trapped in RL and come back to this! what have you done with the place!?!?!?!?!
sorry. I really really love this chapter. I am shocked and pleased to find Maren more "tactically efficient" than I thought. wowza!
I am worried about Lakwa. I guess I don't trust politicians. I confess I don't rate diplomats much higher than politicians or lawyers. I do believe a lot of all of the above begin their careers wishing to make real and positive change. The systems they have to work within are usually too corrupted for most except the most fiercely devoted to those ideals to resist. Sorry about the tangent. In other words, don't let Lakwa and Admiral whatshisface get a meeting . . . (sorry - had a brain fart - I meant Beckley of course . . .)
A riproaring chapter Kes7! Thank you!
Oh! AND Omega ???? Thank goodness Malik doesn't have any real operating leverage . . . yeeeeeesh!!!!!!
ares93 -- I promise I'm trying! I'll tell you all what I told the folks at Ad Astra ... until November, this story is going to be slow-moving because of my job. After that, I can pick up the pace again, but right now, I'm just buried in work! Sorry for the delay, but I hope you'll find it worth sticking with. Thanks for reading.
Gibraltar -- Wrong? How could it possibly go wrong? Maren, brain injured and aiming a phaser set to kill at Icheb's head? Attempting to bluff her way out of a situation with an unstable ex-Borg while about to pass out? I see no possible way that this could end up any way but a-okay! Oh, wait. I'm kidding. Yeah, she's playing a risky game for sure. We'll see if her gamble pays off, or if something else happens in the meantime. Thanks for the comments!
oldstredshrtevr -- I don't blame you in the slightest for being less than trustful of Lakwa. I mean, is there anyone in this story who seems particularly trustworthy so far? As for Maren's "tactical efficiency" ... well, she's trying. Hmm. Do you think Icheb is as impressed as you are? Thanks so much for the nice review of this chapter. I really appreciate it, and I'm so glad you enjoyed it.
Well this is an episode of shocks & surprises with what Malik, Maren & Lakwa are pulling out of the hat. I can’t help but think of it as the trading places episode. Beyond the immediate involvement in incidents and individuals, Kes, you’ve a real knack for highlighting the geopolitical and geo.policy.tactical framework and then putting the Federation in the spotlight.
With all the aggressive, imperialistic races in Trekverse who’d have thought of the Feds as the biggest bods in the playground. At the same time they simply aren’t in control of the situation at the moment; they are on the outside, looking in, as leading edge technology is bandied about. Then Lakwa’s little speech I believe it is imperative we work together to prevent him from doing irreparable damage to the potential unity between our people is so much the sort of line you’d expect from Picard on a damage limitation exercise. We are indeed seeing the mirror held up to the Federation here.
What is their thinking like though, to make the Omega Particle pure anathema? That leaves absolutely no room for consideration, compromise or flexibility. Not the best policy decision; when a tamed particle is an entirely different beast to a wild one. Presumptions have been made and may well be unfounded. Britain put the native Irish Beyond the Pale with no belief at all that they could ever be admitted to mature society & that is the official Federation stance on Omega. It is one shared by Maren and Malik (who are like two matches rubbing off against each other); both assume the Federation will take only one tack on Omega but perhaps not so — for Beckley it seems that any available weapon is an acceptable weapon and who knows what the take of the rest of the board will be on this issue. The flak sure will be flying once there comes a time to talk about things although the vitriol of the board isn’t going to be more than peas from a catapult compared to the bombshells that are being fielded in action right now.
By the way is this a Compare and Contrast study? We have both Adele and Maren faced with Borg-In-Crisis; trying to read them, get a handle on them and respond accordingly. Each has their own strengths to bring to play on this: Adele has her empathy, albeit a tool she isn’t easy with yet, and Maren has her experience, albeit coloured by her current shakiness (physical and emotional). It is nice to see the contrast between Maren’s own perceptions of herself and the persona she hopes to project. This is a fine game of poker underway, where everyone is trying to read each other and adapt accordingly. We may have the insight into Maren’s head right now but doesn’t she desperately wish she could see inside Malik & Icheb’s heads and aren’t they feeling the same about each other and about her. Blindman’s Bluff with an edge indeed.
Wow, tau136. I appreciate the very thorough commentary! You've touched on a lot that is going to be explored further very soon. Starfleet's reaction to Omega, for one. Lakwa's attempts at diplomacy. And most of all, this idea of the Federation as the biggest bod on the playground.
Fact is, they're pretty much there, aren't they? Gradually, we've watched the Federation grow from the ragtag bunch of explorers we saw in TOS into an entity spanning nearly half the galaxy and possessing incredible, cutting edge technology and posing a real threat to even the Borg Collective. We saw the Borg move from indifference to near-rage in their 'relationship' with the Federation as it became clear that humanity (in particular) was a real threat to them. If the Feds were nobodies, the Borg wouldn't react this way. The fact is, the Federation has come a very long way in a short period of time. I believe this is also why the Q have taken such interest. (Remember Book One? Their little visit wasn't just for fun.) We'll see what happens with all that.
As for the poker game ... feel free to compare and contrast Maren and Adele, but that's not what I intended when writing this chapter. The two of them do have some interesting almost-parallels, though. That's part of what makes Adele's reactions to Maren so complicated. Their personalities are nearly incompatible, and their experience with and perspectives on the Borg couldn't be more diametrically opposed, yet Maren's current emotional state is familiar to Adele in a way that serves to both link her to the engineer and make her want to recoil from the painful memories she kindles in her. So any time you see these two in the same chapter, there are likely to be some thematic ties, I guess, for lack of a better term, whether intentional or not.
Lastly ... yes, I think it's fair to say that EVERYONE in this poker game wishes they were a telepath right about now.
Thanks again for the great commentary.
Things are starting to become clear as we get some long overdue explanations. The Omega particle itself explains a lot, including how the Borg Resistance could be so powerful, the damaged subspace and even why Borg drones appeared to show up in the oddest places.
The revelation of Omega will make things (even more) interesting. How for example will Adele and her ever present advisory board react to this news? Her standing orders surely are to destroy it immediately but what about the chance of stopping an all-out Borg invasion? What about the already shaky alliance with the Resistance? Those are going to be fascinating questions to ponder and I'm looking forward how it will make a difficult situation even more complicated.
And I haven't even mentioned the mini-rebellion within the Resistance, Malik's Starfleet hostages or Maren's admirable (but-is-this-really-going-to-work??) bluff to kill the man she is clearly still in love with.
Drama galore. Lovin' It.
I aim to please, CeJay. Glad I hit the mark for you with this one. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!
ETA -- More delays ahead. Busy weekend = no writing accomplished and no promise of time to work on it much this week, either, what with work being crazy. All I can promise is that I'll try my best! Stolen moments here and there ... hopefully they'll add up to something very soon. Thanks, all, for sticking with it and being patient for now. I really appreciate it.
My, my, my. That was one shock after another. First Lakwa with her surprising offer of assistance to Adele. Her diplomatic overtures and tones are impressive from an ex-drone. The fact she is willing to mutiny against or betray Malik is to a degree shocking though similarly understandable. Of course, this can't have a pretty outcome for Malik and Lakwa nevermind the Starfleet officers. Dissension among the rebel Borg is actually worrying - atop of the shock that they harness and give away as a bargaining chip the power of Omega. Now THAT has to be asking for trouble!
The news that Omega is powering their ships and weapons explains a great deal but certainly ups the stakes big time for all concerned. Starfleet's hands are kinda tied on that one considering the Omega protocol but will Adele turn down the chance to be able to weild it as a weapon against the Borg? For that matter, will the Admiral? Even Maren is enthralled for a moment by the harnessing of Omega.
And then of course, there is Maren taking a bold tactical move. How comes I feel this 'bluff' could turn out so badly? Past form perhaps. But I like that she is taking some sort of active response to what has happened. She has been pushed and strained over the last while and yet we see her find the leverage to use against Malik. Albeit the back of Icheb's head. you've created a tense situation with a lot of shifting ground under our feet as the hostage situation turns up Omega, Malik making an offer, Icheb seeing some reason to his arguments , lakwa offering to help Adele and willing to mutiny against Malik, and Maren taking icheb's life into her hands in a pretty big gamble.
Oh, MF. If you think that was "dissension among the ex-Borg" ... just wait.
As far as Omega goes ... yes, there is a lot to discuss. And I have to say that Maren would still be enthralled this very moment if she hadn't been distracted by being taken captive. She's not a fan of the Omega Directive (which she shouldn't even know about, as a lieutenant, but does, thanks to Icheb).
And, yeah. She's got a phaser set to kill pointed at Icheb's head. Again I say, "How could this go wrong?" (No, seriously, this is obviously a desperate Maren taking desperate measures. We'll see how it pans out.) Thanks so much for reading and reviewing.
I have a question for you guys. Back when I very first started this story (I mean way back at part one), I just posted scenes and called them chapters. As the story grew, the chapters got bigger and included multiple scenes, but the wait between chapters got longer.
With work being what it is, I'm wondering if you guys would rather have individual scenes (i.e. incomplete chapters) posted as they're finished, or do you like the "complete" chapter thing and don't mind waiting more than a couple of weeks in between posts for the next month?
Just trying to figure out how best to keep the story going until life gets less crazy ... thanks in advance for any input.
I've been thinking about doing this as well for my Restoration and Glimmer of Hope stories, so I would definitely be for it. A lot of writers who publish online do it - in fact I have seen a lot of webfic where the writer puts the story up page by page.
So I would be for it, especially if it means we can get more Tesseract more often!
Seconded. The more often we get to read Tesseract the better. Even if its shorter pieces.
All right. I've got two votes for "little pieces faster" and one vote (via IM) for "wait until you're happy with it to post it." If I was voting, I'd vote with "wait until I'm happy with it," too. So if we're counting my vote, we're tied, unless someone else chimes in.
That said, I think for this chapter, if I don't have the entire thing complete by tomorrow afternoon, I will go ahead and post the first half, which IS complete. So either way, you'll get new Tesseract tomorrow.
Thanks again for your patience and for reading.
(Just a few more weeks and life will be back to normal ...)
I don't personally have a preference so I did not pipe up.
I'm just always happy to hear about another chapter up!
Well, I didn't get the entire thing done because the power was out most of the day, but it's back on now. So without further delay, here is the first section of chapter 7.
CHAPTER SEVEN (Act I)
The problem with phasers was that pressing the trigger was far too easy. Even a type-II hand phaser was capable of producing enough energy to vaporize just about anything it touched, and that energy could be unleashed, full force, with the mere touch of a button. As the single beam shot out from the phaser’s aperture and headed for its target, everyone present seemed to draw in their breath and hold it. Standing at such close range, the resulting impact was seemingly instantaneous.
John was very actively trying not to think too much about the ultimate destructive potential of the weapon he was firing. He guided the small device with steady hands, slowly cutting through the twisted metal bulkheads currently blocking his path to the last three people T’Pring’s sensors told him were still alive and unaccounted for on the USS Sol.
It was dark, but for his teams’ headlamps, the focused light emitted by his weapon, and the hot glow of the metal as it burned away under the phaser’s beam. He’d had Par Renn cut power to this section while he cut through the mangled alloy, but with all the damaged conduits and leaking plasma running through the ship, he didn’t know for sure he wasn’t about to blow them all to hell. It was a dangerous gamble – maybe too dangerous, like T’Pring had said – but there was no way he was going to leave three people for dead if sensors said they were still alive. So he offered up a small prayer that if something was going to go right today, this would be it.
To his relief, and the relief of his team, it worked. After several minutes spent slicing through the damaged wall and door, they had a hole big enough to fit a person though – even wearing EV suits like they were … and nothing had exploded. He sighed and exchanged a satisfied glance with Osar, the Bolian medic standing nearest to him.
“We’re in,” he told T’Pring over comm.. “Where are they?”
“Just ahead of you,” came the almost icy reply from T’Pring. She wasn’t at all happy about this little stunt, but after too much time wasted debating her over it, he had finally told her in so many words to “fuck off.” He had no idea what the consequence would be for that, and he frankly didn’t care. He was the one currently responsible for those three people back there, and he would be damned if he was going to let Vulcan logic and caution force him to “play it safe” when their lives were on the line. So he had ordered Renn to cut power to this area and divert some of the Sol’s limited power to create a temporary force field between them and the rest of the ship. That way, even if he managed to get his team killed, at least everyone else would be safe.
Only he hadn’t gotten them killed. Even though he knew it came down to either luck or divine intervention, a part of him still felt a tiny bit triumphant over T’Pring and her cold, analytical logic. She was reminding him of Icheb at his very worst, and it was beginning to drive him nuts. Actually, that was unfair. Not even Icheb would have argued against this rescue effort, no matter the risk involved – of that much, John was certain.
Slowly, he and his team made their way through the hazy, empty corridor behind the damaged bulkhead they had just cut through. There was no light, very little air, and the technician who kept giving verbal updates on what he was seeing on the tricorder he was carrying said the radiation levels were extreme. So basically, it’s just like everywhere else on this godforsaken fucking ship, John thought wryly.
“Stop,” T’Pring said suddenly through the speakers in his helmet. “You’re there.” John stopped short and looked around frantically to see what she was talking about. He didn’t see or hear anything. The darkness seemed still, and their headlamps were doing a poor job of illuminating the smoke-filled space.
Then someone coughed.
Five heads turned toward the sound, and John’s stomach tightened as he saw the source of it. A human boy of no more than five or six sat slumped against the side of the corridor, barely conscious.
“Goddammit,” he breathed. “There’s a little kid in here.”
He walked up to the child and knelt down beside him, then shook him gently. “Are you okay?” he asked.
The tow-headed little boy, who looked familiar in a way John couldn’t quite place, fluttered his eyes and opened them. “Daddy?”
John’s stomach did another flip. “No, no. My name is John. I’m here to help you. What’s your name?”
“Bennett,” the little boy said, then started to cough again. John could see that there were already radiation burns forming on his pale skin. He nodded to the medic, who quickly knelt down and began scanning the boy with a medical tricorder. The grim look on the Bolian’s face told John everything he needed to know.
“Bennett, we’re going to get you out of here,” he promised. “But I need you to tell me where your family is. Who were you with? Where are they now?”
Bennett pointed at a nearby door. “In there,” he said, with some effort. “Mommy. Lucy. They’re stuck.” At this, he looked like he might start to cry, and John bit down on his tongue to suppress the impulse to swear in front of the boy. Stuck. That could mean a lot of things. None of them were good.
“Okay, Bennett,” he said. “This man’s name is Osar. He’s going to take you to the cargo bay and give you some medicine to make you feel better. And I’m going to go get your mommy and Lucy un-stuck. Okay?” The little boy looked up at him with scared but hopeful eyes, and suddenly, John was sure he knew whose child this was. He was the spitting image of Adrian Keller, the Alpha shift flight controller. He knew Adrian had a wife and two kids. Bennett, Mommy and Lucy. He had to once again resist the impulse to swear.
As the medic lifted the tiny boy and quickly carried him back toward life support and relative safety, John and the others forced the door behind him open. This time, John couldn’t stop himself from swearing aloud. Is anyone alive in here? he couldn’t help but wonder, as he surveyed the scene in front of him.
The ceiling in this chamber had mostly collapsed, filling the room with twisted debris. He didn’t see a single thing that looked human. He turned up the volume on his external suit speakers as loud as it would go. “Mrs. Keller? Lucy?”
No reply was forthcoming, so he looked to the technician with the tricorder. “Got anything, Jacobs?”
“I can’t get a clear reading on anything,” the crewman muttered, fussing with the display in frustration. “Too much goddamn radiation in here.”
“T’Pring,” John said, “Can you get us any closer?”
“Negative,” she replied over the comm.. “On our sensors you appear to be right on top of them. There may be interference. Continue your search.”
“Acknowledged,” John replied. “Mrs. Keller?!” he shouted, and as he did, his pitch rose slightly, gaining a slightly desperate quality that made him wince when he heard it coming back in through the speakers in his helmet. He took a deep breath. Hold it together, Quigley, he told himself. You fall apart now, it’s over.
After a moment, he heard a small sound, something between a moan and a whimper, coming from under the debris. He turned to illuminate the space. “Mrs. Keller? Lucy?”
“Here,” came the hoarsely whispered reply. “We’re here. Please help my daughter.”
I can see what you did there with the opening ... very clever and subtle misdirection.
Yes, pressing that trigger is way too easy. There is another officer on another ship who better learn this lesson quickly.
John continues on his crucible and continues to distinguish himself, including disregarding the possibly more experienced and more senior T'Pring to account for every last person missing in action. That's a bold move.
But this is clearly a bold guy, even if he doesn't realize it yet. Somebody better give this dude some sort of medal when all this is over.
KK a ragbag of a response here; I'm between countries and down to minimum internet for about another week.
First off a comeback to your comeback to my comeback to the previous chapter of Tesseract
Yeah! Right at that point their situations, seemed to be running on pretty much parallel tracks; which is what struck me
Next . . . The Literature Corner
Have you come across a Teen Fiction Fan Fave Series called Skulduggery Pleasant XXX ? The latest book out has a major new behemoth of a character in it called . . . Tesseract
Now then > chapters or crumbs ???
Chapters every time I'd much rather wait and get a decent, coherent chunk rather than small snippets. That fragmentary style actually puts me off net fic. You'd probably find me staying away for months / years in the hopes of coming back to a chapter-in-installments.
Doesn't look like I'l get to read & review the next chapter today - my alllotted hour is nearly run but hopefully soon.
Greetings. I know I haven't been around for a long while. Sorry for that. Rrecently, I once again found Tesseract, and am very happy for it. Part II is AWESOME, Kes. Thank you!
But what I'm thinking of right now isn't merely your linguistic skill, all that narrative niftiness. What I'm thinking and feeling right now is profound and acute gratitude. I was so pissed this morning--at a great many people and things. Ever more, I find that I am a misanthropic-humanist.
So, there I was, pissed and sad. Then I indulged my whim (hope!) that you'd have posted a new chapter, especially since I'm bereft of fresh Trek for at least another month until Zero Sum Game hits the stores. Calloo calay! You did not disappoint.
The first few lines of this chapter had me thinking and fearing the prospect that this was to be about Icheb and Maren. I strove mightily to NOT skip ahead several sentences. Then when the phaser fired, I literally gasped! NO!, I thought, she would not have Maren shoot Icheb in the head. Obviously, you didn't. Which made John's finding Adrian Keller's kids and wife all the more thrilling. Not only had the love of Icheb's life not shot his brains and cortical array out of his skull, but John Quigley seems to be saving the day--heretofore bad judgement, catastrophe, and Vulcan logic notwithstanding.
At the end of the chapter when Mrs. Keller called out for help, I felt a rush that was, for me, ALL about Trek--the triumph of hope. I really needed that this morning. Thank you Kes.
With great regard,
PS: Got my fingers crossed that the Kellers make it. Not only great for Adrian, but, honestly (to be a bit crass), this will so endear John to Lt. Cmdr Keller and the senior staff in general, and to the Kellers's dinner guest, The Captain, particularly. John can use a commendation right about now.... I just hope Ryzal's family is okay too.
John gets another dose of command reality as he struggles valiantly to save more lives, only to discover those trapped in the radiation are the most vulnerable of his charges… civilians.
Unfortunately, I have the sinking feeling that he may soon discover that you can’t save everyone all the time.
Gritty stuff here, kes7, and brilliantly executed.
Separate names with a comma.