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Join Date: Jul 2012
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# 71
01-15-2013, 10:31 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by marcusdkane View Post
Thanks for the feedback, it's very much appreciated I know what you mean about paragraphing, and this is why I wrote the entire thing in the forum reply tab (several times due to laptop crashes >_< )
I think that perhaps 1 extra line break, compared to what you've been doing, should be enough to get the story to break up the way mine did and make the paragraphs and dialogue easiest to follow.

Quote:
When I saw the challenge title, I wanted this to be 100% literal haunting, and having taken part in investigations myself, I know the kinds of things which can happen and methods used (Have never witnessed anything as dramatic as a room's furniture being randomly piled up though ) although I also wanted it to be something which could be explained by 24th Century science, like the subspace layer where Suspiria and her followers dwelt, and I figured that the Lantaru sector is one of the few locations where there might be a bit of a 'thinning of dimensional barriers' due to the subspace ruptures from the Omega experiment, and having a TARDIS in the cargo bay, would simply be 'fuel to the fire', so to speak...
Oh...I wasn't aware there were crossovers going on, since I'm new to the LC's.

I've never been involved in any sort of paranormal stuff, though, and honestly wouldn't have felt comfortable writing it. For me, the fact that there was something 24th-century-science related did help. I think that was a wise decision as a writer because it opens you up to a wider audience.

But since the idea for Alyosha had popped into my head the night before, when I stumbled across the prompt, I realized he (and certain parties very angry with him) would be quite appropriate to use. He would, in his natural form, be considered a ghost of sorts. And if you're wondering why the sensors aboard the Chin'toka never registered the presence of the intruders...well...you can imagine certain warnings had to be disabled aboard that ship or else they'd be going off all the time. Another reason for Alyosha to be mad at Drake and to feel like Drake was callously playing games with the lives of his crew.

Quote:
And while it was definitely a case of her being in love with him, rather than the other way round, I figured that the dynamic of that relationship would be something he would never reveal to others, and would be a significant 'flaw' compared to his other positive traits...
Not being familiar with the Highlander series, I didn't really have any precedents (or know who this Lauren was) to compare with. Or even know that Kane was a Highlander in the first place. But yeah, I was pretty creeped out when I figured out that there was a bit of a "Cousin Dupree" moment going on there (if you know the Steely Dan song).

Quote:
No, the modern crew weren't in any kind of danger, simply that there were enough elements on board the ship for Alix's immortal spirit to say "I'm still here..." (and to reinforce that Palmer hadn't simply spun a tall tale to spook out her crew...)
Ahh, I see. I think that perhaps with the more disturbing undercurrents of her relationship with Kane, not to mention the suicide, I was expecting her to be disturbed on even more levels and ready to do something horrible.

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I think Alyosha has the potential to be a truly fascinating character, and it will be very interesting to see where you go with him in any future works It could simply be that as an 'unknown species', he was never regarded as a threat, and his biology simply considered a matter of doctor/patient confidentiality, so never discussed with his crew...
The problem is that the TNG episode "Time's Arrow" happened in 2368, way before the time STO takes place. And with Alyosha having been found in a creche beneath San Francisco, not that far from where Data's head was found (maybe he was even the reason archaeological teams were poking around in San Francisco?), it became blatantly apparent that he was Devidian. And by that time--he was already an Academy freshman. That meant Starfleet had a huge problem on their hands, as they would see it. He's been having to prove himself ever since.

It's also why Alyosha can't publicly be an unknown species that happens to look like a human. He has to be human in the eyes of almost everyone, because sadly, it would be hard to earn the trust of a crew or of one's superiors when every other encounter with his species has involved their trying to put humanoids on the menu. Remember what happened to Simon Tarses just for being a quarter Romulan? Unfortunately Alyosha could be vulnerable to something even worse if his nature isn't kept under wraps. Some would even believe he needed to be killed right then and there.
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Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 3,480
# 72
01-15-2013, 02:25 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by gulberat View Post
I think that perhaps 1 extra line break, compared to what you've been doing, should be enough to get the story to break up the way mine did and make the paragraphs and dialogue easiest to follow.
I do see what you mean. The thing I was against, was that I wanted the bangs to stand out enough from dialogue for the reader to know that they were not merely 'background noise', even if not immediately obvious as communication from The Other Side...

Quote:
Originally Posted by gulberat View Post
Oh...I wasn't aware there were crossovers going on, since I'm new to the LC's.
There aren't any official ones, but I've been writing a Doctor Who manuscript, which features the crew of the Endeavour and the alien species I created, and I guess this entry could be considered as a kind of epilogue to that manuscript, where the Doctor had 'hitched a lift'...

Quote:
Originally Posted by gulberat View Post
I've never been involved in any sort of paranormal stuff, though, and honestly wouldn't have felt comfortable writing it. For me, the fact that there was something 24th-century-science related did help. I think that was a wise decision as a writer because it opens you up to a wider audience.
My father in law hosts paranormal investigations on a fairly regular basis, so as a subject, it's not something which worries me to be around, but as mentioned, I wanted it to be a definite haunting of deck 13, even if deck 13 is not normally haunted, and I felt that by doing so in such a way as to be explainable by 24th century science, it would come across as suitably 'atmospheric/disturbing', but still within genre

Quote:
Originally Posted by gulberat View Post
But since the idea for Alyosha had popped into my head the night before, when I stumbled across the prompt, I realized he (and certain parties very angry with him) would be quite appropriate to use. He would, in his natural form, be considered a ghost of sorts. And if you're wondering why the sensors aboard the Chin'toka never registered the presence of the intruders...well...you can imagine certain warnings had to be disabled aboard that ship or else they'd be going off all the time. Another reason for Alyosha to be mad at Drake and to feel like Drake was callously playing games with the lives of his crew.
I think the concept works fantastically, and it will be great to read more about Alyosha, and indeed, it does make sense that the sensors would be thus disabled...

Quote:
Originally Posted by gulberat View Post
Not being familiar with the Highlander series, I didn't really have any precedents
A quick summary of Highlander-verse immortals, is that they age in the same way as other Humans until they are somehow killed, and their biology then revives them as an immortal, although in none of the episodes or films, is it ever truly explained why an immortal is thus, or how their regenerative abilities work. I've always assumed it was a genetic trait, with the body's bioelectrical field operating like a self-recharging dynamo, and thus powering the body's healing processes at an accelerated rate. As mentioned above, as Alix and Marcus should originally have been 100% identical twins, she has the same genetic sequence for immortality, but the lack of the Y chromosome threw it off enough that she was simply a 'pre-immortal' who's synaptic patterns survived the death of her body.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gulberat View Post
(or know who this Lauren was) to compare with.
Lauren was a guest character on DS-9, who (along with two others) had undergone the same genetic engineering as Doctor Bashir, but, as a result, had personality quirks which meant they institutionalized rather than productive members of society. Lauren's quirk, was that she had a very predatory and overt sexuality, and was somewhat disconnected from reality. I figured that even though the genetic re-sequencing Alix experienced was while as an embryo, and was simply a necessary switch of gender, rather than any intellectual or physical enhancements, it still caused a similar personality quirk, although rather than being flirtatious towards everyone, like Lauren, her affections were much more focused, but just as socially unacceptable, if not more so. As mentioned, this is something which Marcus has had to accommodate and tolerate, so gives him as much a shameful secret as her, which I consider to be his Persian Flaw...

Quote:
Originally Posted by gulberat View Post
Or even know that Kane was a Highlander in the first place.
Here's a link to his bio, for additional reference...

Quote:
Originally Posted by gulberat View Post
But yeah, I was pretty creeped out when I figured out that there was a bit of a "Cousin Dupree" moment going on there (if you know the Steely Dan song).

Ahh, I see. I think that perhaps with the more disturbing undercurrents of her relationship with Kane, not to mention the suicide, I was expecting her to be disturbed on even more levels and ready to do something horrible.
The suicide was a genuine 'Darwin Award', rather than an attempt to off herself due to psychological reasons, and as above, the nature of her feelings towards her brother, was so I could give him a truly terrible secret flaw... She wouldn't've done anything else to the modern crew, other than announcing her presence

Quote:
Originally Posted by gulberat View Post
The problem is that the TNG episode "Time's Arrow" happened in 2368, way before the time STO takes place. And with Alyosha having been found in a creche beneath San Francisco, not that far from where Data's head was found (maybe he was even the reason archaeological teams were poking around in San Francisco?), it became blatantly apparent that he was Devidian. And by that time--he was already an Academy freshman. That meant Starfleet had a huge problem on their hands, as they would see it. He's been having to prove himself ever since.

It's also why Alyosha can't publicly be an unknown species that happens to look like a human. He has to be human in the eyes of almost everyone, because sadly, it would be hard to earn the trust of a crew or of one's superiors when every other encounter with his species has involved their trying to put humanoids on the menu. Remember what happened to Simon Tarses just for being a quarter Romulan? Unfortunately Alyosha could be vulnerable to something even worse if his nature isn't kept under wraps. Some would even believe he needed to be killed right then and there.
Ahh, that makes more sense, and yes, I see what you mean as to why he has to be Human. Maybe future works could focus on some of the ways in which he does so. Have you ever watched the movie Gattaca? That covers somewhat similar ground in terms of identity concealment and presentation

Last edited by marcusdkane; 01-15-2013 at 04:48 PM.
Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,213
# 73
01-15-2013, 08:37 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by marcusdkane View Post
I do see what you mean. The thing I was against, was that I wanted the bangs to stand out enough from dialogue for the reader to know that they were not merely 'background noise', even if not immediately obvious as communication from The Other Side...
I think you still would have been able to pull that off with the additional line breaks. I meant that everything should have another line break.

That way you'd get an effect kind of like how I've done the paragraph breaks in this post.

Quote:
As mentioned above, as Alix and Marcus should originally have been 100% identical twins, she has the same genetic sequence for immortality, but the lack of the Y chromosome threw it off enough that she was simply a 'pre-immortal' who's synaptic patterns survived the death of her body.
So there are no fully immortal women in the Highlander universe?

Quote:
Lauren was a guest character on DS-9, who (along with two others) had undergone the same genetic engineering as Doctor Bashir, but, as a result, had personality quirks which meant they institutionalized rather than productive members of society. Lauren's quirk, was that she had a very predatory and overt sexuality, and was somewhat disconnected from reality.
Oh, I see. I had thought you were referring to someone from the Highlander universe rather than one of the DS9 Augments.

Quote:
I figured that even though the genetic re-sequencing Alix experienced was while as an embryo, and was simply a necessary switch of gender, rather than any intellectual or physical enhancements, it still caused a similar personality quirk, although rather than being flirtatious towards everyone, like Lauren, her affections were much more focused, but just as socially unacceptable, if not more so. As mentioned, this is something which Marcus has had to accommodate and tolerate, so gives him as much a shameful secret as her, which I consider to be his Persian Flaw...
I wonder why Alix wasn't sent to counseling or treatment to stop her behavior? I can't imagine their parents--or Marcus himself--being pleased with what was going on. Why did they just "tolerate" it? Was it fear of exposure to legal trouble? Or did they know they had the immortality gene and could be exposed by seeking treatment?

Quote:
The suicide was a genuine 'Darwin Award', rather than an attempt to off herself due to psychological reasons, and as above, the nature of her feelings towards her brother, was so I could give him a truly terrible secret flaw... She wouldn't've done anything else to the modern crew, other than announcing her presence
I see. It does still seem like a rather disturbed thing to do given the extreme costs of being wrong. But it's good to know she won't go all poltergeist on the crew.

Quote:
Ahh, that makes more sense, and yes, I see what you mean as to why he has to be Human. Maybe future works could focus on some of the ways in which he does so. Have you ever watched the movie Gattaca? That covers somewhat similar ground in terms of identity concealment and presentation
Yeah, I saw Gattaca. At least it's fortunate that humanity is expected rather than perfection--much easier target to hit! But yeah, I imagine some of the ways he avoids attracting notice will show up in other works.

Some of it isn't "fake," though, especially when it comes to cultural upbringing. He has known no other homeworld than Earth. It's unknown whether the "egg" he came from (or whatever the structure is) originated on Earth or Devidia, but the Devidians' intentions seem to have been to outright colonize Earth as a feeding ground, and so presumably that "egg" was formed in 1893.

The Enterprise crew's intervention in the past happened so quickly that it resulted in the creche (which was kept some distance away from the area of the actual temporal incursion, though still in the city) being left behind. Given the passage of so much time, Alyosha was the only viable one left by the time the place was discovered in 2355 or so. So until the discovery was made in 2368, he knew nothing about his own species aside from what was known about him, and everything he'd done had been with the goal of fitting in where and with whom he felt at home: on Earth, in human society.
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Last edited by gulberat; 01-15-2013 at 08:53 PM.
Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,213
# 74
01-15-2013, 09:01 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by squatsauce View Post
After reading through all the interesting, well-written entries I felt suddenly ashamed and profoundly inadequate. I have rewritten my own entry, cleaning up the clunkier writing (especially at the end) and removing some of the humorous bits that I felt fell flat. I even added in Crewman Lovegood from my cast list. Feel free to reread it and provide feedback if you wish. Or not!
You shouldn't feel inadequate or like a bad writer!

Right off the bat, your sense of humor grabbed my attention. Mariachi hunt? War banjo? My goodness, how did this program ever come about?

I should've known that there was going to be a punchline at the end--but it took me by surprise seeing him have a hatching day party! Honestly, that guy took it even worse than Worf did in "Parallels," to have a birthday party!
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Commander
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 394
# 75
01-16-2013, 05:38 AM
@Squatsauce:

I'm with Gulberat. I love your story. Your sense of humour really does appeal to me.

And I think I have to award you something for having the best line to appear in any Literary Challenge...

"In the best traditions of Starfleet, I have decided that the entire command structure of this vessel will accompany me into whatever dangerous, pan-dimensional time warp has manifested as deck thirteen."
Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 3,480
# 76
01-16-2013, 08:07 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by gulberat View Post
I think you still would have been able to pull that off with the additional line breaks. I meant that everything should have another line break.

That way you'd get an effect kind of like how I've done the paragraph breaks in this post.
Hmm, I think you're right there, I'll keep that in mind for future entries

Quote:
Originally Posted by gulberat View Post
So there are no fully immortal women in the Highlander universe?
There are indeed, in this case, it was simply a case of the genetic re-sequencing unintentionally disturbing the relevant sequence which would create the immortal effect. A bit of writer's licence

Quote:
Originally Posted by gulberat View Post
Oh, I see. I had thought you were referring to someone from the Highlander universe rather than one of the DS9 Augments.
No, I thought the results of the DS-9 Augments were a good enough example of why the procedures are illegal (In Alix's case, it may have been allowed because it was correcting accidental genetic damage, and no physical or mental enhancements, 'just' a change of gender...)

Quote:
Originally Posted by gulberat View Post
I wonder why Alix wasn't sent to counseling or treatment to stop her behavior? I can't imagine their parents--or Marcus himself--being pleased with what was going on. Why did they just "tolerate" it? Was it fear of exposure to legal trouble?
Well, I've seen enough Jerry Springer and the like to know that some strange things can happen I think in reality, her behavior in company would not have been overt enough to be noticed, and anything that was, simply passed off as a joke, and anything that happened between Alix and Marcus would have been between them (and as mentioned, his Persian Flaw that he did not object)

Quote:
Originally Posted by gulberat View Post
Or did they know they had the immortality gene and could be exposed by seeking treatment?
I would imagine that although it might be detectable, it might be a policy that it not be revealed to people for fear of suicides...

Quote:
Originally Posted by gulberat View Post
I see. It does still seem like a rather disturbed thing to do given the extreme costs of being wrong.
I agree, it is a somewhat extreme action to take, but if able to see one's own twin suddenly and unquestionably immortal, I can see why someone who wasn't necessarily 'firing on all thrusters' taking the chance...

Quote:
Originally Posted by gulberat View Post
Yeah, I saw Gattaca. At least it's fortunate that humanity is expected rather than perfection--much easier target to hit! But yeah, I imagine some of the ways he avoids attracting notice will show up in other works.

Some of it isn't "fake," though, especially when it comes to cultural upbringing. He has known no other homeworld than Earth. It's unknown whether the "egg" he came from (or whatever the structure is) originated on Earth or Devidia, but the Devidians' intentions seem to have been to outright colonize Earth as a feeding ground, and so presumably that "egg" was formed in 1893.

The Enterprise crew's intervention in the past happened so quickly that it resulted in the creche (which was kept some distance away from the area of the actual temporal incursion, though still in the city) being left behind. Given the passage of so much time, Alyosha was the only viable one left by the time the place was discovered in 2355 or so. So until the discovery was made in 2368, he knew nothing about his own species aside from what was known about him, and everything he'd done had been with the goal of fitting in where and with whom he felt at home: on Earth, in human society.
Totally see what you're meaning, and indeed, cultural upbringing would play considerably more of a part than genetics, like Worf, who's behavior was not really 'as Klingon', as those raised in the Empire.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gulberat View Post
The Enterprise crew's intervention in the past happened so quickly that it resulted in the creche (which was kept some distance away from the area of the actual temporal incursion, though still in the city) being left behind. Given the passage of so much time, Alyosha was the only viable one left by the time the place was discovered in 2355 or so. So until the discovery was made in 2368, he knew nothing about his own species aside from what was known about him, and everything he'd done had been with the goal of fitting in where and with whom he felt at home: on Earth, in human society.
Indeed, I really like the idea of Alyosha's as a character, and with the Devidians having been such an unexplored race, you certainly have a broad canvas to work on
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Posts: 340
# 77
01-16-2013, 08:39 AM
Thank you for all the kind words. I no longer feel inadequate, though I do see some more spelling and grammar errors I need to clean up. Please simply take it as a compliment to all of you that I felt challenged to do better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gulberat View Post
Honestly, that guy took it even worse than Worf did in "Parallels," to have a birthday party!
In Khas' case, it's less about being the center of attention and more about being stuffed in a room with a bunch of hooting, filthy primates who will keep touching him with their grubby meat-hands. And, being captain, he must allow it and pretend that he finds the gesture meaningful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bortjinx View Post
@Squatsauce:
And I think I have to award you something for having the best line to appear in any Literary Challenge...

"In the best traditions of Starfleet, I have decided that the entire command structure of this vessel will accompany me into whatever dangerous, pan-dimensional time warp has manifested as deck thirteen."
I never understood why the away teams tended to consist of "all the guys who know how to run a ship" and, maybe, "a guy who can die to underline how dangerous away missions can be". Don't they have a few annoying ensigns and non-critical crewmen they could assign to those things? Seriously, the Enterprise was always, like, one transporter accident away from leaving Wesley Crusher or Guinan in charge of the ship.

Last edited by squatsauce; 01-16-2013 at 08:47 AM.
Captain
Join Date: Sep 2012
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# 78
01-16-2013, 08:50 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by bortjinx View Post
@Squatsauce:

I'm with Gulberat. I love your story. Your sense of humour really does appeal to me.

And I think I have to award you something for having the best line to appear in any Literary Challenge...

"In the best traditions of Starfleet, I have decided that the entire command structure of this vessel will accompany me into whatever dangerous, pan-dimensional time warp has manifested as deck thirteen."
QFT ... all of it.

The back-and-forth discussion above has been VERY enlightening to read for me as well.
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# 79
01-16-2013, 10:39 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by marcusdkane View Post
Well, I've seen enough Jerry Springer and the like to know that some strange things can happen I think in reality, her behavior in company would not have been overt enough to be noticed, and anything that was, simply passed off as a joke, and anything that happened between Alix and Marcus would have been between them (and as mentioned, his Persian Flaw that he did not object)
On a psychological level, perhaps the extreme genetic closeness between the two meant it was a bit of a narcissistic thing on Marcus' part?

Quote:
I agree, it is a somewhat extreme action to take, but if able to see one's own twin suddenly and unquestionably immortal, I can see why someone who wasn't necessarily 'firing on all thrusters' taking the chance...
Yeah...definitely not arguing that. I was just explaining why I had thought she was even more nuts than she really was.

Quote:
Totally see what you're meaning, and indeed, cultural upbringing would play considerably more of a part than genetics, like Worf, who's behavior was not really 'as Klingon', as those raised in the Empire.
I never understood why we didn't see more evidence of human influence on Worf. There should've been at least something, unless he deliberately played ignorant of human customs. BTW, he should, specifically, have shown at least some influence of Belorussian culture. Even a little reference or vocabulary word here and there would've helped to make that backstory feel less tacked-on.

The difference between Alyosha and a "native-raised" Devidian is much greater. I would imagine young Devidians are taught to ignore the terror of their victims. There's a telling line in "Time's Arrow" where it was apparently so bad that Troi is able to feel an aftershock of the victims' fear even though their life force has been completely consumed already. That made me think that the process was a) deeply distressing or painful to the victim and b) the victims felt their attackers' malevolence and hunger.

(That's also why--besides the fact that I had a mutiny to prevent!--that I allowed the victims to feel Alyosha's emotions as he fought to bring them back.)

They probably view it from the same moral standpoint as when you raise a child on a farm and teach him or her to accept the slaughter of livestock. (Of course to many humans there's a big difference between livestock and another human being, but the point remains.) When Alyosha accidentally killed his caretaker as a child, no one had ever taught him that, so he reacted from a "natural" conscience and it absolutely shook him to the core.

Quote:
Originally Posted by squatsauce View Post
Thank you for all the kind words. I no longer feel inadequate, though I do see some more spelling and grammar errors I need to clean up. Please simply take it as a compliment to all of you that I felt challenged to do better.
Believe me, you did fine!

Quote:
In Khas' case, it's less about being the center of attention and more about being stuffed in a room with a bunch of hooting, filthy primates who will keep touching him with their grubby meat-hands. And, being captain, he must allow it and pretend that he finds the gesture meaningful.
LOL, yikes. Am I right that Khas is an insectoid of some sort?
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Last edited by gulberat; 01-16-2013 at 11:10 AM.
Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 3,480
# 80
01-16-2013, 11:40 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by squatsauce View Post
After reading through all the interesting, well-written entries I felt suddenly ashamed and profoundly inadequate. I have rewritten my own entry, cleaning up the clunkier writing (especially at the end) and removing some of the humorous bits that I felt fell flat. I even added in Crewman Lovegood from my cast list. Feel free to reread it and provide feedback if you wish. Or not!
I liked it the first time, but the re-write really polished things, and it's a really good entry
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