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Rocar Drawoh

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  1. Please use this thread for any discussion or questions about this writing challenge.
  2. Please use this thread for any discussion or questions about this writing challenge.
  3. The Symbolic Tomb By Toni Turner Standing at attention, Captain Laura Willingham quietly observed her crew being buried in a symbolic tomb. Supposedly, the representation would encase the remains of their lifeless bodies so they would dwell in the repository for safekeeping throughout the eons of time, but judging from the size of the casket, the catastrophe left far too few remains to justify a remembrance of such grandeur. She thought of her Bridge Crew fondly, picturing them at their consoles, working together to fight the unknown. They were so young, filled with promise, well-versed in their duties, and in her estimation, fit to wear pips far beyond their rank designation. In Laura's mind, she questioned the validity of the well-meaning logic of the symbolism. oO If the Federation can design a casket to hold them in safekeeping in death, why couldn't they have done the same for them in life and protected them from their enemy? Oo Her eyes lifted, and she gazed across the hallowed field to the tear stained face belonging to a young woman, one of many who had also come to show their respect to the fallen crew. In her arms, a baby rested quietly at her bosom. Laura contemplated the scene. oO New life will not come from the lifelessness found here. Is it too much to ask that these orphaned children be the last to lose a parent? Oo Laura pondered that question, then resigned herself to the facts. oO Of course it’s too much to ask. It’s something that happens in life, and although we hope to find the reason for children who must cry alone, we cannot justify the sense of it. Oo Laura's vessel, the USS Andrea Doria, had suffered the same fate as its namesake. She wondered, oO Had it been its destiny from the beginning to have an ill-fated crew? Was it happenstance or had it been the predestined climax of events rendering it foredoom to failure? Oo Replaying the events, her mind’s eye saw the collision with the enemy ship. A burst of blinding light, then the blackness of space became aglow with a million particles and ambers twisting violently through the heavens. No fireworks display had ever been so spectacular, nor heart and soul wrenching. She began to slump, but the young Aide standing beside her, caught hold of her elbow, and steadied her stance. With concern in his voice Ensign Pitts inquired, "Are you okay, Ma'am?" Giving him a weary smile, she tried to answer honestly, "Yes, Pitts, I'll be fine. It's . . . well, I was remembering." Her Aide nodded as if he knew exactly what she meant, but how could he? No one had seen her view of the tragic scene, unless . . . oO Oh, that's right he was the one who helped me from sickbay to the shuttle. Oo She gave him a strained smile, dismissing his hold, and stood up straight on her own volition, determined to see the ceremony through. Scores of Federation Officials were in attendance. All of them proclaiming the bravery of the ill-fated crew and posthumously awarding them with the accolades that Laura felt they should have had in life rather than death. oO How many requests for commendations did I send . . . a hundred? . . . two hundred? Oh, yes now I remember . . . the same number that went unanswered. Oo As a bugler played his rendition of taps, the casket was lowered slowly into the tear dampened ground, then the attendees filed by, adding handfuls of sod, until the grave was covered. Watching the crowd walk away, Laura imagined them starting life anew. It was a bitter pill to know her crew could not do the same. Her emotionless facade threatened to fall as the honor guard moved away so the headstone could be placed, but when she read the inscription, her knees buckled. Again Ensign Pitts steadied her, "Ma'am it's time to go. May I have the honor of escorting you?" She nodded, giving Pitts a slight smile, knowing the validity of his wisdom. Leaning on him, they walked until they vanished from the field. She had done all she could do for her crew in life, and now, a piece of her heart would dwell with them in death. A few moments later a young woman with a baby at her bosom stood quietly reading the headstone inscription. "Dedicated to the memory of Captain Laura Willingham and the crew of the USS Andrea Doria NCC 285996 - Lost in Battle 238603.22 " Weeping bitterly, the woman whispered the question she desperately sought to be answered, "Why did you go back, Mother?"
  4. Overall Some excellent entries all round this month. It was extremely difficult for everyone to judge between them. I think you should all be very proud of yourselves for such a high standard. Thank you all for some very enjoyable reads.
  5. "Stimulus & Response" --- Iolo Llewellyn An excellent first time entry and good telling of the classic Human-Vulcan interaction story. It was nice to see a story set at Starfleet Academy and I quickly warmed to how these two characters came to be friends. I particularly enjoyed the way Brian Kernan sets T’Lar up for an amusing encounter with the wink and think this a very apt way to address this month’s theme. I noticed the inclusion of “© 2008, all rights reserved” in the title of the entry and feel everyone should be aware of the UFoP Starbase 118 Terms of Services and familiar with the way any creative work connected to this group is protected by the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 license (see: http://www.starbase118.net/members/constitution/tos/) This writer has a clear strength in characterization and I look forward to reading more engaging stories in future. Well done.
  6. "Final Flight" -Della Vetri This story was well deserving of being this month’s runner-up. It has a nice balance between action / Star Trek battle scenario and the telling of a good people-story. The story manages to build up pace (which is quite hard to do in creative writing) and we, therefore, form a sympathy with the characters very quickly. However, this piece is heavily based on dialogue and I would perhaps advise including more description around what the characters are saying (e.g. how their voices sound/ what they’re doing as they speak etc). Nonetheless, we form a firm bond with the characters in a very short space and the story, therefore, succeeds in being deeply moving as it reaches its climax. Well done.
  7. "Instant Eternal/Eternal Instant" - Idril Mar Another tour de force from one of my favourite UFoP writers. We can all learn a lot about how to write when we read this piece. Take for example the powerful descriptions throughout the story and the images they evoke. For example, the opening line alone: “A scream of pain, not physical but just as harsh, crawled up his throat and burst from his lips like a Gnenllian heart worm.” The story evokes a traumatic event and this, by its very nature, must be dependent on the role of memory. This is caught here perfectly by the narrative point and jumps and added to further by the poignant use of repetition (look for that opening line again later in the short story). If I was to make a criticism? Well, for me, this piece does not quite capture the same “something” as when this writer writes stories about Trills on the trill homeworld. Unfortunately, I am afraid that I can’t quite say what that “something” is! Nonetheless, anyone looking to try some trauma writing would do well to use this piece as a good example of where to start in terms of structure and content. Moreover, we should all strive to work such vivid descriptions into our sims. Well done.
  8. "A Klingon Fairy Tale" Tal Tel-ar I thought the idea of a Klingon Fairy Tale was an interesting one and liked the way it ends by introducing the reader to the storyteller and his current situation. Certainly a sad end for a Klingon! This entry could, however, have benefited from a spell checker or a proof-reader. Watch out particularly when you come to writing words that are spelt differently but sound the same (e.g. their/ there) as these errors do crop up occasionally. Nonetheless, I thought this was a good story and explored this month’s theme nicely. Well done.
  9. "Grand Intervention" by Nemitor Atimen This was a deeply moving story and the reader instantly feels sympathy with the protagonist and his plight. Perhaps the story could have benefited from a slight dénouement revealing more about the aliens’ race and the location of/ motives for these events. That said, the fact that this isn’t clear from the start is very gripping and draws the reader in to reading onwards. Well done.
  10. "In a Wink of an Eye" This is a most intriguing story. I like your choice of setting (both in terms of location and time period). There were one or two areas where the writing could have benefited from a grammar checker or proof-reader on past tenses etc, however, the reader still gets a good connection with the characters and their situation. Well done.
  11. "Beware the Quiet One" --- Lance Firestarter Beware the Quiet One was my favorite entry this month. I really appreciated the narrative structure and focalization. The juxtaposition between a town under attack and the descriptions of childhood were perfect and I appreciated the lyrical/poetic interludes. A beautiful and powerful piece of writing -I’m not sure how this piece could be improved; I wish I had written it. Keep writing like this.
  12. You're certainly more than welcome. I've learnt several foreign languages in my time and I'd say that simming here would be a good way to practice and improve your English. Not only in terms of writing a sim each day but also with regards to the friends you make with whom you could chat on the forums or over instant messenger. If you're still a little unsure, remember you could pick an alien race for your character. Then your use of English could just add to the effect of the character's alien exoticism as a non-terran because they speak slightly differently. Good luck applying!
  13. ((Command Hub - Starbase 118)) Hilzarie: =/\= Captain, Commander things are getting worse down here, the Embassy wasn't safe, Sickbay won't be safe with all the injured telepaths here. Plus I have a plan. =/\= Stone: :smirking:: Best news I've heard all day, Lieutenant Hilzarie. Prepare for transport. Commander. Engage. :: Cura glanced at her Captain. She knew he was concerned for his family's safety. Cura was glad that Gwen had called in and was alright. She and the twins would be safe here for the time being. Within a few moments time, the trio of Gwen and the twins appeared in a haze of blue, florescent light. After another second or two, they materialzed. Cura turned to her friend, walked up to her and embraced her.:: Stone: Che? Xan! OH my goodness! Look at you two! My my my. you two have grown so big! ::Cura held out her hand towards them both, shaking their little hands.:: Do you remember me? I used to serve with your mommy and daddy on the USS Constitution a few years ago. I remember when you two very very little. Have you ever been up here before? :: The two children shook their heads, silently in awe by the activity in the large room. Just passed Cura they could see their tall father raditing power and authority as he looked up at the big screens on the deck above displaying fleet deployments. Whenever he spoke somebody did as he told them to.:: Stone: This is called the Command Hub. Your father is in charge up here, so this is where he works. So, this is the first time you get to see him at his job. He's a very important guy up here. He has to make sure everything is going on well. Right now, we are very busy trying to get everyone under control. So, do you think you two can watch your daddy and mommy do their jobs? ::The kids nodded, about to speak enthusiastically. But they were cut off by a loud booming voice... Lt. Cmdr Cura Assanti-Stone, not giving the emergency beam in from Gwen and her kids a second thought, had allowed for the transport. As the transporter materialized Gwen and the twins, all her professionalism and adherence to regulations and protocol had gone out a nearby airlock and Cura got caught up in how the twins had grown. She had gotten carried away in explaining what was going on to them, when her Captain's loud, authoritative voice brought her quickly back to her senses.:: Rocar: (almost angrily, but more blunt) Get those children off my command deck! :: Cura quickly snapped up on her feet and looked at her Captain with wide eyes.:: Stone: Sir! Rocar: Stone resume your duties... someone get them out of here now. This is no place for civilians or children. ::The Ktarian’s eyes snapped onto his ex-wife’s:: Lieutenant Hilzarie you will do well to remember that before bringing your children to work with you please. :: Immediately, Cura was sorry for having broken protocols. Sighing heavily, she quickly moved back into the heart of the command center, glancing at Gwen almost shaking.:: Rocar: Yeoman Colt, put them in the conference room until the situation passes. ::Rocar turned back to face forward, quietening his voice slightly:: Number 1... security update please? Stone: Captain, Lt. Cmdr Zubowskivich has apprehended our invisible man and has detained him in the brig with proper force fields and is now scanning him for other devices he may have on his physical person. I'm not sure what your orders would be. Shall we proceed with interrogation processes? Rocar: Have security proceed... carefully. Stone: Also, Captain, the criminal Armeni is still loose on the station. I had Lt. Geeva and Lt. Falcon scanning for her. I'm sure they were able to find her location, but I'm not sure with the curfew in place, where she would go. The plan was to have Lt. Falcon apprehend her as Lt. Falcon is not readable and more powerful than Armeni physically. Yet, other things happened and that plan never took place. Hilzarie: Who? Stone: ::to Gwen:: She's an old acquaintance of Lt. Cmdr Zubowskivich. Yet, she was not a nice person. She a full Betazoid that is EXTREMLY powerful telepath. I have a hunch she's probably behind some of what's been going on, but ::shrugs:: there's no proof, of course. She had come before and attacked Ta...Commander Zubowskivich. We tried to catch her with a team of Betazoids, but the plan failed and she got away. This time, she attacked me and Then went after his daughter, Ella. I moved his daughter to my quarters in the diplomatic wing, placed guards...she'placed guards...she'<WBR>s safe. However, other probably going around adding more flame to the fire, so to speak. :: Turning to Captain Rocar: Stone: But she's still a threat to the station as a whole. With all this anti-telepathic stuff going on, she's probably in her own fantasy world. But since we put the curfew in place, there's no way she'd remain out in the open to get caught. There's no people to toy with. So, I'm thinking she's found a way into someone's quarters without them knowing it, probably using her telepathic skills to do it. Rocar: oO Telepaths seem to be our main problem round here at the moment. Oo :: The Ktarian forced himself to take a deep breath and regained his composure a little. Wondering where his own bitterness was coming from he decided it was clearly a broken heart at the hands of a betazoid who'd reemerged in his life and the connected disapointment of his own offsprings development. :: Rocar: Then this crisis is far from over. Stone: Aye, Captain, There's still a lot of work to do. Where do you want me? Rocar; Until we have a plan, right here... the question is where this woman was trapped. With security fields in place she can't be running far. :: Cura folded her arms across her chest. She didn't have any ideas at the moment. She suddenly felt very tired. She walked to a replicator and ordered up some Argelian herbal tea. With her pregnacy, she had to lay off the Klingon coffee. It was too strong for the baby. Sipping the tea, she began to think deeply about the situation with Armeni. She thought about the growing hatred of the telepaths on the station, a bit of anger rising from the recent explosion of the Betazoid Embassy. She thought, at the moment, the best thing she could do was to be quiet, which is what she did.:: :: As the hot herbal tea trickled down her throat, Cura gradually began feeling a bit better. Deprived of sleep for some hours now, she was running on fumes. Quite frankly, they all were. The shout of Captain Rocar concerning the breach of protocol had shocked her to the core. Yet, she had never known the boundry lines of her Captain. Yet, she should have known better than to think that he'd allow even his own children on the command hub. Mentally, she kicked herself for having thought otherwise. Surely she knew Rocar well, but she knew him when he was an officer. She had not known him as a commander very long. There was a difference there that she was just now realizing. Biting her lower lip as she pondered these things, she leaned her backside against a console.:: :: John Stone would not have succumed to such, she thought. How quickly she had forgotten the very ideals she had fallen for before. Regulations..protocols was all that John had ever preached to her back when she was an ensign. She had clung on to those ideals, embracing them and making them her own. But had she forgotten them so quickly? She sipped her tea, looking at her fellow officers, but saying nothing. She glanced at Rocar, knowing what she needed to do, but feeling somewhat afraid to even approach him to do it right now. She knew what had to be said...had to say it, but now wasn't the time for it. What she wanted was to explain herself and apologise for having ....forgotten herself when Gwen and the kids arrived. She didn't even think that Rocar would want to hear what she had to say. Her mis-matched eyes danced from face to face in the errie silence.:: ::Finishing he tea and returning the mug, she tapped her com badge.:: Stone: =/\= Stone to Geeva =/\= Geeva =/\= Geeva. =/\= ::Geeva Kalpana still sounded irritated at the world, and as if the call were an intrusion upon her personal time.:: Stone: =/\= Lieutenant, I know you're busy, but are you still tracking the criminal Armeni? =/\= Geeva =/\= Aye. =/\= Stone: =/\= Where is she located now, Lieutenant? =/\= Geeva =/\= Habitat. =/\= ::The vague monotone answers would be a serious insult in her own culture, where vagueness is liable to get somebody killed. Here, however, Cura is unlikely to realize just how rude Kalpana is being. It has been a long day, after all, and the iridian has been working her long-fingered hands to the bone.:: Stone: =/\= Habitat? Upper or lower? Can you telll? =/\= Geeva: oO Fool woman. Not even the sense to be properly insulted.. Go bother somebody else and let me do my job. Oo Stone: =/\= Habitat? Upper or lower? Can you telll? =/\= ::Kalpana's voice gained an edge of sarcasm, as she went form no details at all, to far more than Cura was asking for. It was a childish attempt to get the Commander to go away.:: Geeva =/\= Lower level, Third deck that does be below the upper turbolift hub, fifth corridor, fifteenth quad suite, second room on the left. The quarters do belong to Heri Grina, single mother, who did arrive on the station five years ago on this date, and who does work as a civilian contractor in one of our hydroponics gardens. =/\= Stone: ::nodding: =/\= We should try and apprehend her there. What do you think? =/\= ::Kalpana just stood there for a moment, not sure if she should be offended by Cura's blithe disregard for her change in tone... or impressed at the woman's cool head.:: Geeva =/\= I will do take care of the details. =/\= Stone: =/\= How many life signs are around her. Is there a way to determine that? =/\= Geeva: =/\= Two, and there does be such a way. =/\= Stone ::nodding:: =/\= I don't know if apprehending her there would be a good idea then. With all the resentment of telepaths going on, for a civilian to find they have been "tricked" and victimized, won't make things any better around here. Keep tabs on her. Stone out =/\= :: Cura sighed as she russled up some courage to approach the Captain. She walked towards him slowly, with hesitant steps...self conscious steps.:: Stone: Um..Sir?,We have a location on the criminal Armeni Rocar: Whereabouts Commander? Stone: She's in the habitat area of the station, Captain. In someone's quarters, I believe. Should we pursue her there or wait for her to come out of the civilian residential area? Rocar: Have Lieutenant Fanel and Ensign Moon move in on her location but instruct them not to engage yet. Also, put marines on back up and inform Lieutenant Commander Zubowskivich of the operation incase he wishes to join Jacen. Also, best get Falcon down there... as you said earlier, this job might take an android and have the Chief of Operations coordinate the action with technical support from a distance. :: As Cura looked at the Captain, she wanted to say more about what had happened before, but she left it alone. After all, he had been right. She had dropped her guard...she knew it...she was sorry for having done so. But, ...there were not buts. She knew that too. Yet she wanted to explain and knew her explanation wouldn't make a difference. Okay, she was a sucker for little kids...she loved them and loved his twins like she loved her own Mulan and her own baby. But that was no excuse. So she bit her tongue and pushed passed it...left it there....moved on.:: Lt. Cmdr Cura Assanti-Stone First Officer Starbase 118 Ops
  14. Please use this thread for any discussion or questions about this writing challenge.
  15. Guidelines: To participate, create a new thread. The subject of the thread must be the title of your story. If it is a Work In Progress, denote that with the heart post icon. If your work is complete, use the horizontal arrow post icon. Items not marked with an icon or marked with the WiP icon will not be considered for judging and will be moved to the "Character Cafe" forum at the end of the contest. Your work must be entirely your own. No co-authoring. You are welcome to create any character you so desire, but they must be from the Star Trek universe. No "canon" characters allowed. (i.e.- No one who has been on a show.) Challenge: This month’s theme is "Tears" ; this might be the expression of grief or sorrow; perhaps uncontrollable, perhaps unexpected. Most mammals will produce tears in response to extreme pain but crying as an emotional reaction is considered a uniquely human phenomenon, possibly due to advanced self-awareness. So what of other alien races? In nearly all cultures, crying is seen as a specific act associated with tears trickling down the cheeks and accompanied by characteristic sobbing sounds. Emotional triggers are most often anger and grief, but crying can also be triggered by sadness, joy, fear, humor, frustration, or other strongly-experienced emotions. “Tears of joy” or “crocodile tears” ~what do these droplets of emotion that run down our cheeks signify to us and others? (Topic chosen by last month’s winner, Toni Turner.) Length: No more than 3000 words accepted. Beginning Date: Sat. May 5th Ending Date: Sat. June 9th See Also: the Writing Challenge Website. Good Luck!
  16. Ehm... well I'm not sure about the Jan-Feb reviews ~ That was my month off The March-April reviews should be with you asap (next couple of days) though.
  17. Results have been posted. Big well done to everybody though as I know the judges had a hard time deciding ~it was a very high standard last month and I hope it will be even better still next time round. To the winners and runners-up... sorry guys but you may have to wait a little while for your banners to be made. Flt.Adm Wolf is the only one who knows how Won't be too long though! Thanks again to our judges (Rhys, T'Pen and Ens.Carrington) and well done everyone who took part. ~Rocar
  18. Congratulations to our winner for this round, Toni Turner! Nemitor Atimen and Charles Hawk claim the "runner-up" positions. Great work, all! It was particularly hard to call this time round. Reviews will be posted soon and look for the next challenge information within a week!
  19. The Writing Challenge is now closed. The judges will have results and reviews to you ASAP. ~ Captain Rocar
  20. En Route by Nemitor Atimen I really liked the way Nemitor took the moving "First Contact" and incorporated it into the story, altering it only slightly to have Cochrane dying. The effort of the survivors to "keep the dream alive" shows the best part of the human spirit, something brought out into stark relief as they encounter the Borg in space. The only issue I ran into with this story was the flow. While reading it, there were times I had to pause and re-read to determine who was supposed to be speaking or consider a phrase that sounded awkward. A minor flaw to an otherwise excellent story. Nice job! ~Ben Walker The Last Contact by Julia Harden Julia Harden’s approach to this month’s challenge was an interesting one insomuchas the writer creates a race for First Contact rather than examining a set of events had another canon Star Trek race been the first to reach Earth. The Arecibo appear somewhat more sinister than the passive Vulcans, and LtCmdr Harden describes their actions (for example kidnapping terrans and conducting horid experiments on them) in a style that echoes many recent SCi-Fi TV shows such as Roswell and the X-Files as well as the modern “Alien-kidnapping” folklore. It is interesting how the writer chooses to bring out the Arecibo’s personal side… showing their thoughts and emotions. Where as to us First Contact would be a major event, to the alien protagonist he is clearly tired and just wants to go home after a long mission. My main criticism of this story would be that, since it uses a non Star Trek race, it could have perhaps included more descriptions about the Arecibos’ appearances, people, society, political structure and history etc. Slightly darker than First Contact, this seems to be more a “people story” about those on the Arecibo and their personal relationships and feelings as they complete their mission. This is well done but I feel it also means the story suffers in how it approaches the challenge and that more could have been done to examine the actual effects of this First Contact on the people of Earth. I think to really rise to the “what if…” aspect of this challenge then this particular short story might also have benefited in exploring how this First Contact with the Arecibo effected Earth’s future and even the existence of Starfleet and the Federation etc. Nonetheless this was a well-written piece and it would perhaps be interesting in future writing to see Julia Harden further develop this new race that she has created. ~Rocar On their own, What if the humans never met anyone on that faithful day? by LtJg Pedro A. S. Ramirez This was a solid idea. Half-way between “1984” and “The Time Machine”, the concept of a world founded on self-interest rather than magnanimity is almost the exact opposite of what we try to emulate in ST. So this was an interesting concept and of course a good concept is a great place to start a story. However, at times this entry felt more like the outline for an idea rather than a fully-worked up story, and possibly it suffered slightly for this. Nerreht’s previous entries have been of a very high standard, however, on this particular occasion perhaps more could have been done during the writing process to develop the story more and explore what was an excellent concept a little more thoroughly. Everyone entering these challenges needs to be careful to turn their good ideas into strong stories as best they can for this forum. That said, I did actually really like the story. It had a dark quality I find myself very attracted to. One of my favourite films is "Dark City" and this certainly reminded me of it fondly in parts. With a bit more fleshing out, this had a lot of potential. So I guess my main criticism is that a good idea like this one deserves the best possible treatment from its writer. C'mon Nerreht, you had 2,500 words left to play with here and they could have been used to really delve into yet detail. I've enjoyed your stories in the past and I feel that with your writing talent you could have perhaps achieved just a little more with this month's entry! That said, I liked how you approached the idea of a future without the Vulcan’s influence but more importantly the subtle way in which this story indicates, hints at and underlines some very real and detrimental elements in our society today. Indeed, one of the most powerful tools offered by creative writing in the fantasy/sci-fi genre is the way the setting (of a future/fantasy world) allows for the writer to make a social commentary and criticisms about the real modern day world around him. I believe this is something Nerreht begins to do well with this entry. Indeed, upon reading this short story, every reader should be weary of the corporation before we allow it to take over on a galactic scale. ~ Rhys & Rocar
  21. The Assembly by J. Vannini What I liked on this was the set-up, the vivid descriptions of where Julio was, and the progression leading up to the contact with the Assembly, as well as the Assembly itself, which is vivid in its stark, somewhat gothic pathos. Structurally, there's a couple of interesting elements that foreshadowed what was coming, first by the use of the thought, second by the absence of the name. It works well for the first couple of paragraphs, but a slight suggestion would be to experiment with ways to cement the reader's knowledge of the character we'll sympathize with. (*wink, nod*) The pronoun has an interesting effect. I especially liked the confluence between the Assembly and Julio's wife, using the former to capture this month's theme of "city on the edge of forever" with the allegory to an eternal city of mind vs. a loved one. I was left with the feeling it was rushed, and might have been interesting to spend a moment more to further establish the hold of the Assembly and its ability. The final twist, of course, being the recovery through a transporter relay and a conversation on the effects of transport on the mind for context, with exposition dialogue to give us the base bones of the mission. One suggestion might be write out the action of the scene, even if it doesn't make it into the actual story. I say this not as a criticism, but as a possibility to entwine richer visuals in areas that are heavy in both exposition and dialogue. You have a wonderful ability to craft some compelling visuals. I'd like to see more ("May I have some more, please?" – Oliver Twist). Overall, nicely done. Although I'm not sure if they would just beam Julio up first and not the whole team… Looks like the spell checker failed you too, eh? (*fails me all the time*) There's some grammar errors as well as some interesting word combinations. (He was not sure the his distance). The dialogue is believable, sounds a little forced here and there, but on par and not too "on the nose". Well under the word limit. Great job! Reviewed by LtCmdr Cody xoet-xoette-h92o by Lt Xoet I liked how you explored the trappings of infinite possibilities. Good imagery of the mirrors, makes one think back to the Original series with Spock, Kirk and McCoy and what they must have seen, but this time, how your character would have seen them, as he’s not human. It makes one ponder what is important and what isn’t, and why and to whom, and how not everyone sees the same thing the same way. The ending gives the reader the freedom to explore different possibilities of how the story will end. These are just a few small points about what could have made your writing a bit better. I found that it was hard to follow the plot at times, due to the lack of punctuation which made the meaning of the sentences confusing. Perhaps for the next time, you could add a bit more of an intro instead of jumping into the middle of a situation. Otherwise, it was interesting to read. Reviewed by Captain Y’Shirad. Past Present Future by Nemitor Nemitor's work is always an interesting read, for multiple reasons. I'm going to say this because he did an excellent job in the characterizations and the complexity of character development in short form, between Admiral Krammer, the Admiral's son, and Ritter. Temporal continuity loops are some of the hardest stories to write. However (*grin*), the application of this month's theme has been broken into individualized parts… whereas the author here has seen fit to apply "forever" to a temporal (or continuity) cycle, "city" extrapolating to the Federation, and "edge" translated to annihilation / extinction… it's definitely one of the most creative twists I've seen. Let's try something: "The city on the edge of forever." = "The Federation being annihilated/extinguished by a temporal/continuity cycle." Hmmm…. Interesting translation! LOL I'm teasing a bit because with a piece like this, it's very hard to find suggestions for improvement. It's all there, arcing characters in a time travel piece that raises an existentialist question with an emotional rise and fall that gives a good solid pacing which is appropriate to the content. Only one grammar error in the entire story… okay, I'm nitpicking now. (*grins*) Excellent work, Mr. Nemitor. My only thought is clocking in at 2,269 words, you had room for one final twist I think could have driven home the theme and made it more concrete rather than relying on the reader to extrapolate your interpretation. The application of this month's theme wasn't as clear as it could have been. Krammer's reaction to his son is appropriate (being a parent myself), but I think you could have heightened the emotion tension of the moment and played with role of the parent/Admiral in the climax. I think my chief complaint is ships would not be reduced to 5 man crews under any circumstance... the believability factor is stretched there, my friend. Otherwise, excellent piece. Reviewed by LtCmdr Cody Eternal City by LtCmdr Ben Walker This was a powerful short story which grew on me more and more each time I read it. Mr. Walker addresses a number of issues and ideas in this narrative, not least the “Star Trek Voyager” like notion of what route a Captain chooses for his crew once they are cut off from the Federation. Likewise, Walker examines the power of “superhumans” and how they might react to their development. But what I liked most about this story was a reading of it that I think is extremely important: Indeed, even if it was not wholly intended by the author he certain inspires one to consider the significance the notion of living a life inside a computer has to a UFoP reader. With this story provoked in me was the realisation that as a web-based community, where each of us maintains a character over the world wide web we sometimes have something stronger with one another (despite global distance) than we do with our own RL neighbours (eg strong friendships, shared interest and a development of our own abilities and skills : our writing skills improve, some of us may find our self-confidence improves, our knowledge of the Star Trek universe improves etc.) Our life with one another via the computer means we each develop (perhaps subtlety but no doubt for the best the best) in ways we might not without the world wide web or the lifestyle offered by our computer. Of course it is important to keep the boundary between RL and our character and we should try to avoid living solely through our “web-based Other.” This is something the crew of the USS Mariner failed to do Mr.Walker succeeds in demonstrating both the pros and cons of their plight in a style that is highly compelling. Throughout this plight, the reader is drawn towards supporting Captain Collesh and her federation ideals (which run through our veins as readers and writers of Star Trek just as much as they do through those of a Starfleet Captain) and yet Walker offers a deep understanding of the choice the Mariner’s crew had to take for survival and the important leaps the crew’s computer-based evolution offers to the Federation. This really is an excellent Star Trek story, and yet it also works extremely well as a piece of “classical style” sci-fi short story. These are two styles that do not necessarily go together well (and have often been badly mixed by professional writers in my opinion) but really work well here in what is a thoroughly enjoyable read. We have the Sci-Fi concept of people surviving by entering and living inside a computer, but at the same time we have Star Trek’s people story and an exploration of the relationship and emotions between Collesh and her former CO. This too was extremely well done. Ben… I would be interested in knowing if it is a coincidence that the lost starship that was rediscovered was called the USS Mariner? Or was this a subtle link to the rime of the ancient mariner by Coleridge in which some mariners encounter a ghost ship? Overall an excellent short story that was so well written it is hard to criticise or find negatives. Reviewed by Captain Rocar. The Spire by: Ensign Liam Hughes This story was well written, it held true to the assigned theme. The story flowed, with nice back flashes to explain feelings and events that had lead to his predicament. What I enjoyed most was the vivid imagery shown in the writing, and the emotions he felt were easily conveyed to the reader. And the self-sacrifice for his fellow crewmates and wife was wonderful. The main problem I had with the story was the “personality” that was given to the Vanguard. From my impressions, the writer gave it an attitude, more knowledgeable than us so it was better, which was fine but a little disheartening that an inanimate object could feel that way. One confusing part, something that could have been made clearer, was his dream caused by the Vanguard or happenstance? Reviewed by Cmdr. Paul Diamond Reality's edge Otherwise known as "One and the Same" by: Cara Maria Once again Cara Maria has written a superb short story for this month’s competition. This piece builds up intrigue from the start and interprets the theme of the challenge in an original and fascinating way. Maria really captures the importance of space, time and place and interprets them in unique ways. The opening of this piece was enthralling and reminded me of Michael Marshall Smith (author of “Only Forward”) not only in writing style but in the narrative’s description of the city and its existence. Maria makes narrative jumps indicated by “----“ which work well and are excellent for the very reason that not everything is overly explained from the start. As a writer she demonstrates a mastery of styles as the different sections are written in different ways (Zaragosa is very possessive for example : his card, his throat) yet throughout the descriptions are extensive and well done. I particularly like the writer’s social observations, particularly in the scene with “the girl” gazing out of the window and seeing a beauty that “the teacher” doesn’t notice. There is actually an X-Files episode guest staring Burt Reynolds where he is god and controls people by playing cards. This reminded me loosely of that, and of other stories where characters are controlled by actions in a game. This was something I like but, by making the characters places, I thought Cara Maria did an excellent job of interpreting this month’s theme. Again, this too was an excellent short story that was one of my absolute favourites and nearly impossible to criticise or find negatives. Reviewed by Captain Rocar.
  22. Ah... yes I see what you're getting at now. Well... it would depend on the judge, but put it this way... the actual "City on the Edge of Forever" episode (as it was shot) might not have won had it been an entry to the writing challenge! Then again, the more you think about the episode script the more different meanings and interpretations you can find ~these don't have to be literal but also surreal. For example, New York is the city in the past which is on the eve of forever changing the future; the runied city at the start has a portal (the guardian of forever) which is on the edge of infinite time... and if you go back you can change things forever...so standing in the ruined city is being in the city on the edge of forever. One tip for you all if you're stuck on something like this (and for any students out there... this really really works well with academic assignments where they give you cryptic questions/essay titles) is to completly deconstruct the title. "City on the Edge of Forever" immediately says large urban area on the edge of forever... but what else can you take from it? What is Forever? What if I spell it For ever? or for Ever? How many different meanings can "on the Edge" have? not just geographical location...in the original episode for example, in what ways is Kirk on the edge? McCoy on the edge? What exactly is a city? what do we understand by city and what is the significance of a city? Who lives in a city and what does that space mean to them? If the city is on the edge of forever...does the city then have to be incorporated as the central theme... or doies on the edge means there's more forever than there is city? What does city sound like... sit he? Deconstruct the title/theme a little. Then see what it inspires you to write. If you write something then try to pin it to the title then that may show but if you write something that the title or theme inspired you to write you'll likely meet the criteria of the challenge. ...but no, just because the Original series episode was "weakly connected to its title" doesn't mean everyone has an excuse to do the same. Like I said...the original series episode is a good episode but it might not have run a competition to do with the theme "City on the Edge of Forever"
  23. I'm not sure where or when I read this...but back when I was a complete Star Trek nerd I'm sure I read somewhere that "The city on the edge of forever" was originally written by Harlan Ellison but DC Fontana rewrote a lot of his original work for the final script. Ellison's original does exist in book form (rather than chase McCoy they chase some Lieutenant who was caught selling drugs and is trying to run away... his altered timeline also involves the Enterprise becoming a pirate ship!) Anyway... if you think to the start of the episode, there's the guradian of forerver surrounded by ruins. I'm not sure how true this is, but I do remember reading that in Ellison's original script there was a city covered in "runes" but someone misread his script and made a set of ruins rather than a rune covered city. I think the episode title might have made a little more sense if they'd got the set right at the start
  24. Out of the four judges you had the following: LtCmdr Harden = USA = "American Engilish" Captain Rocar = UK = "British English" Captain Rhys = Australia = "Australian English" Captain Phoenix = The Netherlands = "Standard English" / "English as a Foreign Language" As such, I think we can assure you that overall nobody will have been penalised for using a non-American version of English. Okay...so maybe any Canadians out there would have raised a few eyebrows but we're usually quite good at taking that into account too Try and remember the judges feed back is really just helpful tips that you MIGHT like to CONSIDER trying in future writing. When we first started offering feedback these tips were greatly appreciated, nowadays it seems to be more a case of trying to find fault with what the judges have said. Its almost enough to give the poor judges a nervous breakdown! Try and remember there really isn't any need to rip the judges apart because of their comments... if someone says something you hadn't thought of that you think is a good idea then try it out and see if readers think your work has improved. If, on the other hand, you disagree with something in the feedback then simply ignore the suggestion and continue having fun.
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