Under the Milky Way: Repulse Prelude, a Science Fiction story | SparkaTale


Under the Milky Way: Repulse Prelude

By: Serina Harcourt

Status: In Progress


People find each other often in the most unsuspecting places and at the very darkest of times. It is most certainly a dark time for the galaxy. The United Earth Federation faces a powerful and unyielding enemy that has waged war upon them for nearly five hundred years. Billions have perished and countless worlds have been obliterated in the process and yet there seems to be no end in sight. Humanity seems doomed to lose the war. Maybe they will, but for three very different people whose lives have been destroyed by the conflict; they'll find each other and in doing so, they'll find the one thing none of them ever thought they would have again. Family.

Created: May 1, 2014 | Updated: August 16, 2016

Genre : Science Fiction

Language : English

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Comments: 58

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      • Chapter: 1 Reply

        I can’t say I’ve ever read/watched much sci-fi (although I am a massive Doctor Who fan, but then that’s like the sci-fi thing everyone has seen, along with Star Wars :P). There’s no real reason, I just never really got into it. So I’m going to apologize in advance if I get confused about things easily :P Anyway, I really enjoyed reading it, it was like a new experience for me.

        The “bedtime story” opening seemed a little cliché, but it provided a lot of interesting information. The interaction between the child and her grandma was entertaining and made the information easier to process. And the part where the kid was like, “you sound like an opening monologue!” Well… xD

         One thing I found funny, is that Abigail was listening to a song made recently in our time, but this story is in the future so wouldn’t it have been long forgotten, and they would have new songs to listen to instead? I mean, she could be a fan of the classics, but I’m not sure if that song is popular enough to have survived over a thousand years :P

        Haha. It’s funny how Abigail has the same last name as Ariana :P I have a habit of reusing last names in my stories as well :P I wonder what happened to her. Maybe she was the girl in the car crash, or perhaps it was someone she knew and they died. So far she seems very mysterious :P

        I also liked Jake. It’s funny how dorky he was when talking to Abby at first. I like dorky characters best, so he captured my sympathy instantly at that moment :P I wonder what his mission is. Somehow I get the feeling it’s the same one those dudes decided Abby would command ;) I guess it probably has something to do with the Arcturus project the grandma talked about in the prologue.

        July 21, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton

      • Reply

        Thanks for commenting! Don't worry about getting confused :P I'm writing this and even I have to take a step back occasionally when I start to get too science-y and weird. I actually put together a sort of glossary if you will of terms and things so I remember what they all mean XD

        The bedtime story (although this would be a really awful story to tell a kid... ever, actually :P) started out as just what it sounds like. An opening monologue that briefly explains the backstory. The grandma and child were a recent addition because, as you said, it makes the information easier to process. Before it felt like a high school history teacher droning on and on in a monotone for hours on end. Naturally, the kid had to poke fun at the 'opening monologue' change!

        Abby does have a love for really old music and movies :P She has a massive digital collection of old songs that she likes to listen to. A couple of characters question her taste in music later on, but its kind of her thing. She hates the modern music of the times. (imagine rock, pop, and dubstep rolled into one and that's what's big these days.) She's spent years hunting down long forgotten songs to add to her collection. Its hard for her to do, but with the Internet still around on Earth all that data's still out there somewhere so she can find it.

        As for Abby and Ariana sharing the same same last name, there's actually a story behind that. I'll have to get a little too personal for the comments section to explain it but here goes; Laine was actually the name of one my best friends who died of a drug overdose about five-ish years ago. We were both 15  when it happened and she inspired me to write, so ever since she died I've had a least one character in every story named Laine. It's like a little memorial to her, I guess It's usually not a lead character so it doesn't draw as much attention as it does here with Ariana/Abby. I'm waiting for someone to think they're related somehow and that this is actually a sequel to Warehouse :P  

        As for Abby though, yeah she's definitely mysterious! She's got a handful of secrets that she'd really like to keep... well, secret. I gave this to a few friends to read and they can't agree whether or not Abby was the girl in the car or if she knew someone involved in the accident. Obviously, I'm not going to say :P But yeah she's got her mysteries to be unraveled.

        I'm glad you liked Jake. He's a character that's undergone the most changes and has been the source of most of my editing. He started out as a hardcore military man and a stickler for the rules. But the story was really without any form of humorous character and Jake really worked as this sort of goofy, relaxed guy that uses his military career to pick up girls xD  It's no secret that Abby and Jake are both going on the same mission, and since she's his superior officer it's quite uncomfortable for him when they meet up again, especially after this little encounter.  

        Anyway, I'll shut up now that I've pretty much written an entire book here :P I'm glad you enjoyed it. Also, I'm very open to suggestions for changes. I think I mentioned before that very little in this is set in stone so I could alter many aspects of this story.




        July 21, 2014 | Serina Harcourt

      • Chapter: 2 Reply

        This chapter makes me think that the girl in the car accident was someone else, not her, because she said she was grieving. Unless she was driving, and whoever else was in the car died, I could see that too :P In fact, I think that could be it, or something to that effect.

        Anyway, this is something I’ve noticed but keep forgetting to mention about this story and the other one as well. Most of your characters (at least, the main ones) are all very pretty/handsome/beautiful, etc. I don’t know, I think I’m just weird, but I think having someone be beautiful kind of loses its impact if everyone is a knockout, you know? Plus for me having characters be plain or even just on the good looking side of average makes them more relatable. And then when you have a character who is supposed to be exceptionally beautiful, it’s more noticeable. It’s a small thing, but I thought I’d mention it anyway.

        I also find it odd that Jake didn’t recognise Abigail straight away, when surely not much time had passed. He seemed pretty impressed with her in the last chapter, so I found that a bit strange.

        I’m curious about their mission, too. I’m still a bit lost with the sci-fi stuff, but that’s more because I’m unused to reading sci-fi than any fault in the story, so feel free to correct me if I get something wrong :P It seems very odd that the Command would send them on an apparently very important mission in an old, rundown spaceship. I guess they must have a reason for it, but for the life of me I don’t know what it could be ;) Plus, they sent Abby, even though she’s a deserter or whatever. I sense a conspiracy! ;)

        July 30, 2014 | Genevieve Middleton

      • Reply

        Cool, I can finally post this! This site has really been hating me today. Anyway, thanks for commenting! You're in the same ballpark (if you'll excuse a sports-related parlance) to where I'm going with the car wreck. That conversation between Graham and Abby was hard to write because they both know what happened, so I had to chose my words carefully. There's a lot that's talked about there and if you look deep enough into what's said, you might be able to figure it out. I'm hoping most people won't do that, though, and I'll be in the clear. I'll give one hint though: Abby never said she was grieving because of the car accident.

        You make a great point about too many pretty characters and actually I agree with you. I don't usually have that many and that's also true in this. The rest of the main cast, which is actually far too large, is typically described as pretty average overall. I'll openly admit that Warehouse got away from me :P I blessed Ariana with her looks because I thought after everything she went through, she deserved something XD Then I went and made Kayla pretty and by extension her mom and sister. Cooper was meant to be this dreamy college hunk, but that storyline fell by the wayside and I never completely edited his appearance. Then Kayla's friends ended up being the popular girls in high school and, well, here I am XD Luckily, I've kept the Beautifier 9000 powered down for the most part on Milky Way. 

        Jake not recognizing Abby is a relic of a time when they met only briefly before that and under very different circumstances. I've been writing this story since late 2009 and it's seen more than its fair share of edits and rewrites. I'm surprised this part even still makes up a cohesive story at this point XD I'll be sure to edit that part. Thanks for pointing it out.

        Please ask at any time if you have questions about any of the sci-fi bits. Even I have to go to some of my more geeky friends and ask questions like 'Ok, so you have a big spaceship. What sort of weapons would you put on it and why?' and 'So... artificial gravity. How would that work exactly?' Also, feel free to point out any places that are confusing/don't make sense/are utterly stupid. I have a tendency to not be clear sometimes when writing sci-fi.

        One thing that doesn't help with this story is the fact that when I set out to write it I made the chapters much longer, more like what you would see in a physical book. To make it work in an online format, I had to cut the chapters up. For instance, parts 1, 2, and a big part of 3, are all supposed to be one chapter and instead I've had to break it up into three parts. If I hadn't done that, the chapters were way too long. So far, I think the only chapter I've uploaded without splitting it up was chapter 10 and it was originally chapter 5 :P  So, in the case of the ship being old and rundown, Abby and Graham talk about that in the next chapter and he explains that the ship was pretty much rebuilt from the ground up so it's practically brand new. That's the price I pay for cutting up the chapters in odd places.

        As for them sending Abby... Command has their reasons. On the surface, those are honest and pure reasons that will be explained before too long. If there is another reason she was sent on this mission, it wouldn't be mentioned for a very long time :D

        July 30, 2014 | Serina Harcourt

      • Chapter: 3 Reply

        Lol, I mustn’t have read this very thoroughly the first time because I remember wondering what was going on with the car crash, even though it was made pretty clear back in chapter two xD I think I understand now. So, something happened to Abby’s family, as alluded to in this chapter, then she got in her car and crashed into the SUV which led to the death of people. Gosh, I can't imagine how that must feel O.o On top of whatever happened, she accidently got people killed... I honestly don’t know how I missed that. Still, I wonder how her family got killed, if that’s what happened.

        Poor Jake xD He can’t do anything right, can he? His behaviour around Abby is very amusing xD Still, at least he did something right at the end by her when he stopped her from having to read those papers. Lol, he’s probably my favourite character at the moment.

        Wow, I must say I’m amazed by all the details in this story. Although, perhaps it’s just because I’m not used to reading lots of sci-fi, but in this chapter I felt like there was a heck of a lot of information for me to absorb in one sitting :P My small brain couldn’t quite manage it, I’m afraid. I mean, I know it’s kind of necessary to have all this info, but I’ll probably forget about most of it xD I felt very much like Sheridan and Abby when Dmitrov explained his machine thingy :P

        January 2, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton

      • Reply

        Hey, thanks for commmenting! I'm sure you read it just fine, it's just that I've done some editing on these early chapters a couple of times since you read them. I didn't want anyone to guess exactly what had happened with Abby and the car accident, so I was intentionally making things vague. Now it doesn't bother me if anyone figures it out, so I changed things to make it much more clear that Abby was driving the car. I don't come right out and say it, but yeah it's pretty obvious now :P So yeah, you're right about the car crash and Abby's family. You won't find out about her family for a while yet, but there are enough clues here and there to figure it out.

        Poor Jake is right xD He just can't get it together around her. No matter his intentions, it doesn't work out for him. I'm glad you like him as he's a character I worry about a bit :P He used to be a serious, by the book military guy but he ended up morphing into the comic relief in a way. He can still be serious, but he tends to be less so most of the time. He also uses his job in the military to pick up girls, so you've got to take the good with the bad :P

        Sci-fi is the only genre I dare to attempt to be really detailed and descriptive. I guess it's because I'm limited only by my own imagination, so I can pretty much do whatever I want and get away with it. I even created a fully planned out government system for the Federation. You'll never see it explained because it doesn't need to be, but it's there. That's the sort of thing you end up doing when you've been writing something this long and you get stuck. You create a new form of government xD I don't know why, but let me try to describe a room or a meadow or something in great detail and it's awful, but if you want me to design a fully functional spaceship... yeah, that I can usually do. Go figure :P

        There's way too much information being thrown at you in this chapter. I really ought to maneuver things around so there's a bit less to absorb. It doesn't really matter if you remember all the sci-fi sciencey stuff though xD Lol, that scene with Abby and Sheridan listening to Dimitrov explain about the engine was meant to reflex exactly what I'm sure you and anyone else reading this was no doubt thinking. "What in the world is he talking about?" xD So its just like Abby says, she (and the reader) doesn't understand and she doesn't need to. It just works. Don't worry about remembering all the technobabble, which is really all it is. I'm not a quantum engineer, I just made something up that sounded good :P It's not important, really and if it ever is a character will be sure to say something to remind you about it. Personally, I keep a glossary of sorts with all the details and stuff because I can't remember myself half of the time xD 

        January 2, 2015 | Serina Harcourt

      • Chapter: 4 Reply

        The beginning part was interesting. I liked learning more about their mission. Lol, I think I’m getting used to the sci-fi because I felt like I was remembering more of the stuff than before xD

        And Scarlett, gosh… Ack, I can’t imagine what that must have felt like. Anyway, her whole escape from the ship and stuff was great, really captivating. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time, and rather terrified xD I don’t know why, I just found it really scary. I don’t usually feel that way when I read things, so you must have done a good job. I like how you showed the normal, everyday dramas of her life first – her brother beig the golden child, her dream to be a navigator, gossip from her best friend… It made the rest of the sequence that much more heart-breaking. I feel really sorry for her :( Her home and everyone she knows is dead and destroyed… Still, I think she’ll be strong enough to survive. She did show a lot of strength of spirit in escaping, like when she didn’t commit suicide. Anyway, so far I like her character. I hope Abby’s ship will find her. Even if Abby said no detours at the start, I’m sure that’s what’s going to happen :P

        Anyway, this was something I noticed: “A second later the dome cracked, a massive section of the dome boiled away. Chunks of the dome, some multiple kilometers long,” Here you repeated the word dome a lot :P

        January 12, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton

      • Reply

        Thanks for the comment! Lol, see? You're becoming one of us now. Embrace the sci-fi. It's fun over here :P I do find sci-fi to be easier to understand and remember the more time I spend with it. I sort of have to get my mind into that place, especially when I'm trying to write it and make at least some small amount of sense xD

        I'm glad you liked Scarlett's escape and found it exciting and scary. Those types of scenes are usually not in my area of expertise at all so any time someone enjoys an action scene is a good day xD Why I'm trying to write a story about an interstellar war when I don't think I'm very good at action scenes is a mystery even I can't answer :P I'm glad you like Scarlett herself so far as well. My first reason for bringing in such a young character was to add a little innocence to the story and help a bit with some of the seriousness of later chapters... and I introduce her by destroying her home and killing a million people :P Heh, you'll often find that Abby ends up taking more detours than she'd like to admit and they usually get her into a lot of trouble. But then again, trouble can be fun, right?

        Lol, wow that's a lot of uses of the word dome, isn't it? Yeah, I'll have to do some editing there :P Thanks for pointing that out :)

        January 12, 2015 | Serina Harcourt

      • Chapter: 5 Reply

        The Arcturus device is making me nervous. They keep saying how important it is for the war, but… In stories things that important often end up failing badly xD I’m really worried for the safety of the ship and everyone on it. At the very least I think they’ll get stranded somewhere O.o

        I wonder how Abby knows that ship. I guess she must have had relatives or something, to react that way. And because she and Scarlett had similar eyes… Hmmm, it’s very intriguing. I wonder how they’re related. My first thought was that Abby was actually her mother or something, but now I realise I can’t remember exactly how old Abby is so I’m not sure if that’s possible xD So I guess she could be her cousin, older sister, aunt, or maybe just a distant relative of some kind. Or maybe it’s something else entirely :P

        Anyway, poor Scarlett… I felt so sorry for her, especially when she called Jake Dad… That brought a tear to my eye :’( The next chapter’s going to heartbreaking, that’s for sure. I hope she’s strong enough to deal with everything that’s happened to her. I know I wouldn’t be. But I liked seeing Jake get some action at last, in the rescue mission. He hasn’t done much yet aside from embarrass himself in front of Abby on multiple occasions xD

        January 31, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton

      • Reply

        Thanks for the comment! So it would surprise you then if Arcturus worked perfectly the very first time they ever use it? In fact, I'd say it even works much better than they ever expected. I won't confirm if that's actually a good thing or not :P Whatever happens, it'd be a safe bet to say it couldn't possibly go as planned xD It's good you're worried about the ship and crew too. You should be. Muahahahahaha :P

        Well, Abby's 29 so she's theoretically old enough to be Scarlett's mother. It's kind of funny, I went back and forth multiple times on whether or not to include any sort of connection between them at all. I liked having no connection except them just meeting when Scarlett is rescued, but... yeah, there's something between them.

        Heh, I wouldn't be strong enough to handle all that either. Scarlett's a tough kid though, but then again she is still a kid. Right now she's still sort of in shock, so it hasn't all hit her just yet. Anyway, I'm glad that part was emotional. Yeah, Jake... he doesn't get nearly as much action as he ought to. For some reason, I enjoy putting him in positions where he's uncomfortable. That'll make sense in a couple of chapters xD He's supposed to be a fighter pilot but we so rarely see him in the cockpit it's sometimes easy to forget that :P He just can't catch a break with Abby, can he? Every time he runs into her he does something dumb. I'm really unnecessarily mean to him like that :P

        January 31, 2015 | Serina Harcourt

      • Chapter: 1 Reply

        I really like how you opened this up, with the grandchild asking to hear a story they've clearly heard so many times before, yet never tire of. It has the feel of so many things I've enjoyed--from childhood favourites, to other things I've picked up along the way--yet it stands on its own. You gave a particular sci-fi theme a twist all your own, and in so doing, you hooked me. :)

        Ooh...from the car crash, to the personnel files, those hooks sunk in even deeper. I'm given to wonder if the woman in the car was Abigail Laine, the one they were talking about? I guess I'll just have to wait and see.

        Nice touch with Abby listening to Evanescence, there. To this day I still love that song, above all their others. I gather from the fact that Abby was listening to Bring Me to Life, you have a penchant for attributing certain songs to your writing, as well? ;) (Seems to be pretty common, or so I'm learning, amongst writers and artists).

        I did come across some errors: "Her thick mane of gently curly deenp brown hair fell to her waist".

        Not sure if this was a matter of typo and you meant "quite" or if you omitted a word, such as, "quiet and shocked". "leaving Jake standing quiet shocked on the concourse behind her.

        Anyway, that aside, I really like the feel of this so far; you've set a good stage already, keeping a good balance on the detail while allowing the reader to fill in the rest with their imagination. :) Nice set up with the characters, as well; Jake may come across as a douche, but it's clear he isn't, really--I bet he turns out to be a real sweetheart, when he stops trying to impress her.

        Assuming his next mission doesn't do him in, that is. ;)

        Well, I'll certainly be reading more of this. ^^


        February 3, 2015 | Shannon Rohrer

      • Reply

        Thanks for commenting! The bedtime story is actually a pretty recent addition. It used to just be an opening monologue but it was so boring I thought people might give up before they got through it :P So, the bedtime story was born and so far it seems to be working out. I'm glad you think it has a twist of its own. That's a particular concern anytime I write sci-fi because it's pretty difficult to truly be original. Either you're copying Star Wars or Star Trek or Babylon 5 or whatever. It's tough to be at all unique when it's all be done before xD

        Lol, yes Abby has an attachment to 20th/21st century music. She likes the really old school stuff from 1600 years earlier :P She's put together a database of old songs from what's left of the Internet so that's how she listens to such old music. Honestly, having songs included is a habit of mine that I'm actually trying to break. I used to do it far too much so I'm trying to cut back and only do it occasionally when I think of a particular song that really fits the scene, such as the case with Abby here. I agree that Bring Me to Life is definitely one of their best songs, along My Immortal will probably always be my favorite. I don't know why because it's really morbid, but eh :P

        Poor Jake, he really does come off as a bit of a douche, doesn't he? But yeah, he's really not. He's much more of a goofball once you get to know him xD In this chapter he really had no idea what he was doing :P Thanks for pointing out those typos as well. I'll be sure to fix them. I don't know why because I edit this chapter so much that I'll just make all new ones before long, but oh well :P

        February 3, 2015 | Serina Harcourt

      • Reply

        Well, you definitely pulled it off well, using the bed-time story theme. It makes it very personable, I think. :)

        Hahaha! I imagine what with it getting compared to the big sci-fi fantasies, it must have felt daunting at times. But hopefully it's also very flattering, since it isn't easy to come up with something comparable to such well-known and liked franchises. Really, I think you did brilliantly.

        Ha, I actually almost forgot that she was supposed to be that far in the future (don't ask me how, you made it perfectly clear; I'm having a derp kind of day, lol), but it definitely gives it a cool, vintage feel. ^^ (Ooh, kind of like Star Lord's mixed tape from Guardians of the Galaxy, lol!)

        Yeah, I had a feeling he'd turn out to be a decent guy. He has that look about him, what with him getting all flustered, and whatnot. ;)

        And no problem, I was glad to have helped! ^^ (And I know what you mean; for every typo or whatever, I seem to make at least five more mistakes). xD



        February 3, 2015 | Shannon Rohrer

      • Chapter: 2 Reply

        Well, looks like one of my earlier questions has been answered. :) And you've also answered some unspoken ones, as well--such as whether she actually intends to have anything to do with that pilot, or not. Perhaps if he returns, she might...but it seems doubtful.

        I think I like Stanforth; sounds like a good man. I'd say Abby is lucky to have him on her side. I also like how you pointed out his disappointment with her cut her more than if he had yelled; it's a common theme, but one that seems to hold true.

        Abby is shaping up to be a rather likable character, as well; her self-deprecation is both understandable and relatable, and because she clearly feels so guilty about the accident, it's evident that she's a good person underneath it all--and Stanforth's lecture to her (about looking around for a suitable replacement with it less than likely occurring) was well written, I felt. :)

        Nice work on detailing the Endeavour and her armaments; sounds like you've got a fair bit of weapons knowledge, or at the very least, have done some serious research. ^^

        Lol, oh god...I bet if Abby knew that Graham intended to have her on the Endevour...which is where Jake's squadron is intended to be...she never would have made him that offer. xD Oh, irony...you are too funny, sometimes.

        LOL! I love how much Jake was panicking toward the end there, between pissing off his commanding officer and worrying about what will happen, since he was hitting on another officer who far outranked him.

        You have excellent, snappy dialogue between your characters, which I appreciate immensely.

        I can't wait to see how things unfold aboard the Endeavour. This is like a mash-up of Star Wars, Star Trek, and every other amazing sci-fi in-between. :) But again--with your own unique flare.

        February 3, 2015 | Shannon Rohrer

      • Reply

        And thanks for commenting once again! It just occurred to me that I could have replied to both comments at once and saved you the time switching between them, but oh well xD I don't think clearly this soon after getting off of work and fighting through NYC subway commuters :P Anyway, I'm glad you like Abby and find her relatable. Fun fact (or maybe not so fun, I don't know :P) is that originally Abby was... well, kind of a bitch. Instead of being sad about the things that have happened to her, she was really really angry and was kind of mean to other people. It was hard, even for me, to feel any sort of sympathy toward her or to cheer for her because she just wasn't likeable. So, I made her hate herself a bit and I ended up not hating her myself after that :P

        Stanforth is really underused, I'm afraid to say. He makes really rare, brief appearances but otherwise doesn't really have that much of a role. He's a sort of father figure to Abby, but that's really about it. I have plans for him down the road (many many many miles down the road) but regardless, I'm glad you like him.

        Heh, I'm not really that familiar with weapons at all, particularly ones of that scale. I did have to do quite a bit of research about them and I ended up settling on a theme where the human ships are armed much like the ships from the World War 2 era. Endeavour especially is a blend of the Iowa-class battleships and an aircraft carrier. So they've got a lot of really big guns instead of Star Trek-esque phasers. There are some laser and energy based weapons, but for the most part it's just projectile weapons and missiles. Geez, I sound like a nerd xD

        Honestly, I think even if Abby had known that she and Jake would be on the same ship she still would have done exactly what she did. Abby's not easily embarrassed and she's not a big fan of being appropriate or following the rules. She had a good reason to make that offer because as she said, he's not likely going to be alive much longer and she knows how powerful hope can be. And despite what she says, she might very well have honored the deal. Even so, Endeavour has a crew compliment of 6,000 people. She's a mile long with 55 decks. The chances of Abby ever actually meeting Jake again on a ship that big are pretty small, right? Right? Hello? :P

        Lol, I'm glad you enjoyed Jake's panic attack xD He's screwing up left and right, isn't he? It's kind of funny but this gets compared to Star Trek quite a lot. It's funny because my original inspirations for it were the Halo video game series and the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica xD

        February 3, 2015 | Serina Harcourt

      • Reply

        Lol, it's alright; I think I'd be in much the same state, if I had to deal with all of that (I don't like crowds at the best of times!)

        That's actually pretty brilliant, and something that seems to occur often with characters, I've noticed. Not necessarily in literature, but I can think of a few fictional characters that were intended to be complete a-holes, only for them to wind up somewhere in the same vein as Abby--though for entirely different reasons, of course. So really, good call on reworking her character. ^^

        Hahaha! Nothing wrong with being a nerd; sometimes you've gotta be, for this line of work. ;)

        Ah, so she may very well have fulfilled her promise, after all. I can see why she might be hesitant to--it's difficult not to become attached to someone, once you've gotten intimate with them--but it's good to know that she's so well-rounded and thought-out.

        Heh, why do I just have this feeling that, despite all of the crew that will be aboard and the vastness of the ship, on top of it, they'll be reunited, anyway? I can't imagine what's giving me that impression. :P

        Lol, I didn't want to say it, but I was totally thinking of Kirk (from the new Star Trek movies). xD Either way though, even if it's similar, it's still entirely its own. ^^ I'm really enjoying it so far, so I'll be sure to continue. :)


        February 3, 2015 | Shannon Rohrer

      • Chapter: 3 Reply

        Nicely done on detailing the Endeavour's interior, as well. :) Even if they aren't finished reworking her, she does sound pretty impressive.

        Nice touch on the "usual branch banter" part as well; as I'm sure you know, it's pretty typical within the military. xD Sometimes it's light-hearted teasing, like what Jake intended, and sometimes it's outright snobbery--you know, just like in any other career. :P

        Nicely done on detailing the hangar, as well. You do a lot better on environment than you give yourself credit for.

        Hahaha! I knew Jake and Abby would meet again (what ever gave me that idea, I wonder?) I really like how she's not into all of that ridiculously pompous self-importance crap, either. It really does seem a complete waste of time, when you're thinking of the grander scheme any military outfit is intended for. There wouldn't be time for formalities on a battle field, after all.

        I love the variety of your characters, as well. They all are very much individualistic, all with their own quirks, some of which are rather endearing. :P Likewise, their names, as well as the names of the ships are also quite unique; I imagine Kahoku is of Japanese descent? And Ackerson definitely sounds like a hard-ass, but given that these are big weapons they're working with, I agree with him being so anal-retentive about it. Of course, Abby has a good point; computers do fail now and then, so it's good to be able to work through these things manually, as well.

        Excellent job on the explanations, by the way; for someone with limited weapons knowledge, you've done a very believable job of writing it out, and in a way that's easy for readers to understand (I'm no weapons expert either, so it's nice that you're so clear and concise).

        The FTL aspect is very imaginative; I love how you've explained (through Dimitrov)  how the Translight reactor works, by encasing them within a space-time bubble, and how he even goes on to explain the downside of this method of travel; how even when he boasts its strong points, he acknowledges it falls short of the enemies' Hyper-Light capabilities and how using it makes them an easier target.

        I feel a bit sorry for Dimitrov, having explained all that to two people who barely grasped it. xD Sheridan's answer made me laugh, too. I wouldn't have been able to suppress it, in Abby's situation. Lol, there is no nice way to explain to someone that you can't "dumb things down" enough for them, is there? I always try to find a way to say it, but it always comes back to that. :P

        You definitely breathe life and personality into your characters, and those moments of humour really show it. :)

        I dare say Abby is a great deal more interested in Jake than I previously thought; she seems to be, at any rate. Or maybe she just likes seeing him squirm a little with the lack of formalities. xD

        I'm still rather curious as to what happened to her family, and just what her family consisted of...you've kept it very engaging, not revealing too much early on, and the pacing is excellent.

        Looking forward to reading more. ^^


        February 6, 2015 | Shannon Rohrer

      • Reply

        Thanks for the comment! I'm glad you like Endeavour's interior. She's old, but she's still got some fight left in her. Don't get too used to the rundown look though. Once she's done she'll look less like the Millennium Falcon and more like the U.S.S. Enterprise from these two latest movies xD  

        Lol, yeah I know all about the chatter between military branches. My brother is in the Navy and I've got an uncle in the Army and two cousins in the Air Force. Holidays are very interesting, as is the annual Army-Navy football game :P Anyway, I'm glad you liked that bit.

        Hmm, I really can't imagine where you might have gotten the idea that Jake and Abby would meet again. Seems like a really odd thing to suspect, if you ask me :P Yeah, Abby doesn't have time for all of the pomp and circumstance of rank. She's more focused on getting the job done and that's it. She doesn't care if people go around treating her like a queen, she just wants them to do their jobs. At the moment, I'd say she's enjoying seeing him squirm more than she's interested in him. She likes him, sure, but she's mostly just enjoying herself messing with him xD

        I'm glad you're enjoying the characters as well. There are quite a few of them so it's good to hear you think they're a diverse bunch. Kahoku would be of Japanese descent, yes. Dimitrov is obviously Russian. There are a few Middle Eastern characters working in Weapons and Engineering. There's a marine that's Hispanic and an engineer that's French. I figured it's the future so I need to be as diverse as possible with the crew :P Although, quite a few countries no longer exist due to humans being generally disagreeable people and since we've got access to nuclear weapons, well... you guess what happened.

        That bit with Abby and Ackerson, you're right that they both have really good points. One shell from one of the eighteen guns that make up Endeavour's main battery has enough kinetic energy to level a small city. If you're fighting over a planet, you wouldn't want to accidently miss. These are weapons of mass destruction and Ackerson doesn't want them mishandled, but if your tech breaks and you don't know how to shoot without it you're kind of in trouble :P

        I'm happy to hear that the FTL bit is imaginative. I wish I knew what I was talking about, but I didn't have a clue :P I just picked words that sounded good and went with it. It is one area where I looked to Star Trek for inspiration since the warp drive is pretty well explained and then did my own spin on it. I highly doubt it's anything close to real science, but it sounded pretty good to me xD Still, I think there's a bit too much exposition in this chapter. I throw a lot of information at the reader in one sitting and it's a lot to take in. I'm considering rearranging things so some bits are in a separate chapter. Lol, yeah Dimitrov just wasted his time telling them all that, didn't he? That whole scene was meant to reflect how I'm sure people reading this are feeling at the time xD

        You'll learn about Abby's family before too long. It's not a topic she likes to talk about, obviously, but she does eventually open up about it. For now, let's just say she definitely has her reasons to be upset.

        February 6, 2015 | Serina Harcourt

      • Chapter: 6 Reply

        The space battles in this chapter were so detailed and exciting. I honestly don’t know how you come up with this stuff :P I could never do it in a million years. I really need to watch and read more sci fi xD Anyway, the battles were really tense and cool.

        I wonder how many people were on the Achilles :( And the other ship, although it wasn’t completely destroyed (I hope).  I feel so sorry for them, and for the people on the Freedom’s Progress. To me it just seems like they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Still, the destroying of all those ships really showed how ruthless the Na-Vaxii are, especially when they destroyed the Freedom’s Progress since it’s not even a military vessel and was destroyed to lure the Endeavour in :( Although, the conspiracy theorist in me is wondering if there’s some other reason they destroyed it, like maybe there was some dangerous weapon hidden on board or something. I’m probably completely wrong lol but I can’t help being suspicious.

        Anyway, one thing I thought, if the Na’Vaxii ships are disadvantaged by having most of their weapons at the bow and the humans were using this to their advantage, why don’t they redesign them? Unless they have, and have redesigned their ships, but the ones used in this chapter were older ships or something? I don’t know. Just something I thought xD

        February 17, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton

      • Reply

        Thanks for the comment :) I’m glad you enjoyed the space battle. Heh, I watch/read tons of sci-fi and have for ages so I draw on that to help write the battle scenes. If I’m desperate I’ll put on an episode of Battlestar Galactica/Stargate/Babylon 5/Star Trek/etc to give me inspiration. I’m glad no one ever read the ones back when I first started writing this :P Those were awful and boring. I still think some of the battle scenes need tweaking, but then I’m picky so… xD I’m trying to find a good balance between the crew interacting with each other and talking about what’s happening verses going outside and actually showing it.

        Hmm, that’s an interesting question. Endeavour has a crew of 6000 so the Achilles probably had around 2000 since she was much smaller. The Michelangelo (which did survive by the way) would be around 1000 because she’s even smaller. I liked the idea of having so many people on these ships even though it’s the future and everything should be automated because to me it gives the feeling that these are big, massive ships, some of them multiple kilometers long and a lot of their equipment needs humans to operate it. And there’s my Random Info of the Day xD

        The Freedom’s Progress really was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The Na’Vaxii needed a plan to lure Endeavour into a trap and that ship just so happened to be a prime target. I’m glad you’re suspicious of stuff like that too. There weren’t any weapons or anything like that hidden on the Progress, but that’s something the Federation would do. They’re all about the survival of the human race as a whole now, so they would definitely use a few civilians to hide their secret doomsday weapons.

        The aliens really are ruthless though and I’m glad that came through in this chapter (although you haven’t seen anything yet :P) That flows pretty well into the last bit too. The Na’Vaxii are based loosely on the Klingons from Star Trek. Like the Klingons, the Na’Vaxii are ruthless, aggressive, territorial, and combative by nature. They never run from a fight. They either win or die (sounds like their playing a very particular game, doesn’t it xD) To demonstrate that, I liked the idea that all of their guns would be on the bows of their ships to show that they’re all about attacking and to discourage cowardly captains from turning and running. No one else they've ever fought has given their ships any trouble like the humans have, but because they’re so arrogant, egotistical, and confident in their superiority, they refuse to change their ships and instead stick to their old design philosophy. But although their ships have that disadvantage, they’re still significantly more powerful than human ships so it ends up not being that big of a disadvantage anyway because the aliens are still winning the war :P And once again, all that was much longer than I’d intended it to be. I need to work on that xD

        February 17, 2015 | Serina Harcourt

      • Chapter: 4 Reply

        Really liked how the chapter started out; excellent work on the dialogue (I particularly liked the military jargon) and it was nice to see you made everything quick and snappy, without sacrificing content. :)

        Ah, and now we enter a new character, Scarlett; at first glance, a spoiled, sheltered girl, until you get to the heart of things; "perfect" older sibling that could do no wrong, treated like a sort of trophy by her parents for the sake of social status...fun times (though of course, I don't doubt that she's more than that to her parents, and that they love her). It's good to see that she's more than just a pretty teenaged girl--she's ambitious, and calm under pressure too, I see. :) Very refreshing. (I really like how she's so in-tune with the ship, as well).

        D: Well that escalated quickly. You did really well, building the suspense in this chapter, especially whenever she had to face one of two difficult options, in a particularly dark environment. The fear of the unknown is clearly trumped by the drive for survival. Nicely done, touching on that instinct. :)

        Poor Scarlett; I hope she (and whoever else may have survived) will be rescued, soon. It would be terrifying, to be stuck in a situation like that.

        Definitely continuing on to the next chapter.



        February 20, 2015 | Shannon Rohrer

      • Reply

        Thanks for commenting! I’m glad the military chatter at the beginning is okay. That’s an area I have next to no experience with other than hearing a term here or there from family members so the whole time I’m writing stuff like that I’m thinking ‘I have no idea what I’m doing’ :P Thankfully, Battlestar Galactica gave me ideas on how a proper space navy should sound xD

        Scarlett was a lot of fun to bring in. She wasn’t there originally, but the story was so serious all the time and bringing in a child seemed to add a bit of innocence to an otherwise all military cast. Lol, yeah that did escalate pretty fast, didn’t it xD Scarlett and Cassie were going to have a long conversation, but I ended up saying meh, let’s just get on with this and kill everybody :P Anyway, I’m glad you Scarlett’s escape. Action scenes are not something I do particularly well, so I’m always happy when someone likes them.

        February 21, 2015 | Serina Harcourt

      • Chapter: 5 Reply

        I like how personable Abby is with her subordinates, and that she has such a fresh, engaging way of running things. I agree with Halliwell--if they do get stranded, she'd probably be the best bet of getting them unstuck, since she's so adaptable.

        Hahaha! I liked Jake's line there: "I thought you might like a distraction and losing all your money to me might’ve done it.” Cheeky, isn't he? xD

        I might have guessed that it would be Endeavour that picked up on that distress signal.

        Not that ship, eh? I get the feeling Abby's past somehow ties in with Freedom's Progress, though I'm not sure how. Perhaps she had lived there, once? Or perhaps it had been known as some sort of impregnable fortress to her (which clearly isn't the case)? It definitely makes me curious to see what about this ship was so special to her.

        And now that I've come to the end, with Jake finding Scarlett, and comparing her eyes to Abby's, I know for certain that there was something far more personal about this ship than just its reputation.

        As to how she and Abby might be related, I'm not sure--but it'll be interesting finding out. ^^

        Great chapter. Looking forward to reading more.

        February 20, 2015 | Shannon Rohrer

      • Reply

        Abby’s unique method of interacting with her crew is one of my favorite things about her so I’m glad you like that. She believes that her subordinates will follow her just as bravely if they love her instead of fear her. She tries to make them feel like family instead of minions that have to do her bidding.

        Lol, yep Jake is definitely cheeky :P He’s always good for a zippy one-liner. Heh, surprise surprise, Endeavour picked up the distress signal. Yeah, that one’s previous obvious, isn’t it xD I wish there was a way for it to be less so, but meh, it is what it is. As for Abby and Scarlett’s relationship to each other, well it’s pretty clear that there is one. What it is, eh… I’m not saying :P But there definitely is one.

        February 21, 2015 | Serina Harcourt

      • Chapter: 7 Reply

        I’m so curious about Scarlett and Abby. I know I’m not going to find out for ages though xD I’m really not sure how they’re related. I don’t think Abby is her mum, even though she could be, but other than that I don’t really have much idea. Maybe they’re related in some other way, like she’s her sister or something. But then, Abby was saying that people on those ships usually stay on there for generations, so I’m not sure. Unless Scarlett was adopted in or something, which I suppose is an option. I’m not sure if that would be possible though.

        Aww, poor Scarlett :( I don’t think the news has really hit her yet. I wonder how she’ll react when it does, maybe she’ll be strong enough to keep going regardless.

        I felt kind of sorry for all those Na’Vaxii when their ship blew up. I feel bad, since they massacre so many humans like the innocent people on that ship, but then the humans have killed a lot of them too, I guess. I’m too much of a pacifist, that’s my problem xD Anyway, Abby’s reaction (when she was like “burn…”) was interesting too, because she doesn’t seem like the sort of person to take pleasure in that kind of thing, so there must be a reason why she did.

        “Abby looked Jake over, noticing his usual stiff, straight-backed stance and stern facial expression.” I found this sentence odd, since that’s not really the impression I get of Jake :P But then I remember you said he used to be a more straight-laced military guy, so perhaps this is left over from then?

        March 1, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton

      • Reply

        Well, I wouldn't say ages necessarily xD You'll find out about Abby and Scarlett's relationship before too terribly long. I don't want to draw it out forever, but Abby's not the most forthcoming person when it comes to her past, so it's not something she's just going to bring up without a good reason. It would be possible for Scarlett to have been adopted, I can say that. Those ships are self-contained societies so people just tend not to leave, but new people come in all the time.

        Scarlett's still in shock and survival mode, so you're right in that what happened hasn't hit her yet. She's a tough kid, but that's still going to be extremely hard for her to deal with.

        Heh, well it wasn't something I planned but I'm actually glad you feel sorry for the Na'Vaxii. They have done really terrible things, unforgivable things, but the ones who died were just soldiers. They were people just like those on Endeavour that are fighting for their home and way of life. They're the bad guys, but I don't want people to just automatically hate them so I'm glad you feel a little sorry for them. Abby, however, does hate them :P She hates them a lot, as a matter of fact. She definitely has a good reason why.

        Ack! Yes, that's a relic of the past that should have been purged with extreme prejudice xD Yeah, Jake used to be a straight-laced, by-the-book military guy and Abby often made fun of him for it. That scene was one of those moments, so I need to edit that. Thanks for pointing that out :) I'm sure their are more in there somewhere. Jake didn't change from his old personality until pretty late, so I'm constantly finding moments where he's still acting like he used to. That's one reason why I haven't added a new chapter for this in forever :P I have to rewrite practically the whole thing and I haven't been able to gather the energy to do it xD   

        March 1, 2015 | Serina Harcourt

      • Chapter: 8 Reply

        I thought the part with the candle was really sweet. I don’t know why, I just thought that was really nice thing to do, even though I highly doubt a Na’Vaxii would actually be deterred by a candle. Still, now I’m really wondering if Abby is her real mother and she was adopted or whatever. Just because when Scarlett asked her if she could live with her, she said she wouldn’t make a good mother… Not Aunt or something, mother... I don’t know xD

        Well, that Braxton guy sure was a pleasant man :P Sadly, I have definitely met more than a few people like him. Still, at least he knows what he’s doing and has a good plan, although I’m sure some things will go wrong (things always go wrong ;P). And the fact that Mosley seemed willing to resort to mutiny over it means their situation must be pretty dire. I wonder if she will end up mutinying (is that a word? xD) or not. I don’t know, I feel like that’s not quite been resolved yet, so I’m curious to see what will happen. Still, I hope they get back to Earth okay, although I doubt it :/ I must say I agree with Abby when she said that she couldn’t understand why they’d been sent out on this mission before the ship was refit. That seems like a very stupid idea to me when they’re facing such dangerous enemies and are carrying that secret Arcturus thingy :P

        March 11, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton

      • Reply

        Oh, but a candle is a fantastic Na’Vaxii deterrent. They’re absolutely terrified of them, you see, especially scented ones. They are the stuff of nightmares xD Actually, the whole candle thing is another relic of a very distant past that I couldn’t bear to part with. At one point Scarlett was going to be around six or seven years old and much more likely to believe Abby’s candle story. She aged several times to make some of the things she does seem more plausible, but once she was 14 it made the candle thing like something she wouldn’t believe by that age :P I just really liked the scene and couldn’t bring myself to get rid of it, so it stays. I’m glad you liked it xD There are a lot of other words Abby could have used instead of mother, that’s true. Her reason for saying that, though, might not be as straight forward as you think. Or it could be exactly what you’re thinking xD

        Lol, yes Braxton is a lovely fellow, isn’t he?  While he does have a plan, he’s extremely cocky and overconfident. Not to say he doesn’t know what he’s doing, he’s just really likely to let his ego get in his way. Mosley couldn’t care less and realizes that they are outmatched, outnumbered, and outgunned. Like Abby says, if she wasn’t in charge she’d be right there with Mosley. Still, Mosley’s actions are still likely to get her into some trouble. She’s on Abby’s radar now and not exactly in a good way :P Heheh, well MS Word claims that ‘mutinying’ is, in fact, a word. So we’ll go with that. I didn’t have any idea xD

        Well, the reason they left without finishing the ship was because they didn’t plan on the ship getting into a fight. That really was stupid of them since they’re, you know, at war and all. Command, seeing something new and shiny that they could use, wanted to test Arcturus right then and it would have taken months to complete the refit, so they launched her early. Endeavour wasn’t supposed to run into any alien ships (that’s why they went to such an empty area of space) and Abby violated her orders when she responded to the Freedom’s Progress’ distress call which got them into their current situation. Assuming they ever do get back to Earth, I imagine Abby would have some really strong words for those responsible for sending them out unprepared. Abby may seem nice, but she’s got a fiery temper when you make her mad :P


        March 11, 2015 | Serina Harcourt

      • Chapter: 9 Reply

        So this Hurst… Something tells me he’s the one who sent that message :P The part with him and Jake was really tense and definitely raised a lot of questions. I have to say, he’s not the sneakiest of spies, if he really is one. I mean, is it really a good idea to have a book presumably full of stuff about your deceit and casually look through your tablet in the middle of the cafeteria? I think not. Hurst needs to up his game :P Anyway, I wonder if he’s the person Abby’s suspecting, or if she’s got it wrong (or maybe I’ve got it wrong and she’s right to think it’s someone else, or maybe we’re both wrong xD). If only she’d told Jake what was going on, he might have been like, “Hey, Hurst was acting weird earlier…”

        Still, maybe I’m getting ahead of myself. After all, I don’t actually remember much about Hurst, if it’s been mentioned, such as if he’s been a model officer or if he’s good with computers like Mosley said the sender must have been. I hope Abby’s right, even if it’s not Hurst and he’s just a red herring. Otherwise, I’m sure she, or someone else (Hope, maybe) will be in trouble… I’m worried for them :/

        I wonder why whoever it was would send messages to the Na’Vaxii though. Maybe they’ve got some sort of deal, like the Na’Vaxii will let them live for helping them beat the humans… But then, I don’t see how anyone could actually trust them to keep their word if that were the case. Unless there’s something else at play here, like Abby seems to think. I wonder who “they” are, if they exist, and what they want. And since the transmissions didn’t reach the Na-Vaxii, maybe they weren’t actually for them and were for someone else. Sorry if this comment is confusing, by the way. I'm tired xD

        April 6, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton

      • Reply

        Thanks for the comment! It wasn’t confusing at all and hopefully the reply will be the same. I’ve been out of town all weekend and I’m just now getting back home so I’m a bit out of it myself. I had to read this whole chapter over again just to remember exactly what happened xD This is another one of those chapters that would make so much more sense if I had been able to upload it in the way I originally wrote it instead of having to break it up. The previous chapter, this one, and the next one, were all one chapter. That’s coming really close to 11,000 words which is obviously way too long for this setting, so here we are. But yeah, I wasn’t trying to hide who Abby thinks the spy is. In the last chapter when Hurst, Hope, and Abby are talking in the cafeteria Hurst says that he ‘knows a thing or two about encryption’ so when Mosley said the same thing, it clicked for Abby that Hurst could be the spy. If that had all been in the same chapter, it would have been pretty clear who Abby is talking about. Whether she’s right or not, well we’ll get to that :P

        ‘Never trust a Na’Vaxii’ should probably be prominently displayed somewhere for everyone to see xD Very little is known about the Na’Vaxii as it is, so trusting them not to kill you even if you betray your own people probably isn’t the best idea. But then it’s important to remember that the Federation and the Na’Vaxii have been at war for 500 years. No one, or at least no human that we know of, remembers precisely how it all started or really why they’re fighting at all. So it’s possible that someone knows more than they’re letting on and the aliens are more trustworthy that you might think. Of course, there’s always the possibility that the spy has been brainwashed, or is a clone, or a Na’Vaxii in disguise, or an evil alien robot just pretended to be human :P God, I love sci-fi xD The ‘they’ Abby mentioned do, in fact, exist although you won’t find out exactly who they are or what they want for a while yet. Who they are should be more of a mystery/surprise instead of who the spy turns out to be.

        April 6, 2015 | Serina Harcourt

      • Chapter: 6 Reply

        Sorry I haven't been back to this in a while. ^^; (Not a lack of interest; too many stories to catch up on at the same time).

        Oh, damn. :( It figures that the rescue mission wouldn't go that smoothly. Still, I had hoped, lol. The Na'Vaxii are certainly formidable foes, indeed. Well, more than formidable; sounds like mankind scarcely stands a chance against them, even with the reverse-engineered tech. ^^; I don't doubt that the tables will be turned, somehow. :)

        I thoroughly enjoyed the fire-fight between the warships, and it was a relief to see back-up come when it did--even if one of them had to retreat rather quickly, afterward. Of course, it's sad about the Achilles, but if not for their help, The Endeavour likely would have been decimated. You also did an excellent job with the terminology. I know I've said it before, but it instantly made me think of a few major and minor sci-fi movies/games/novels. :)

        Nice little cliff-hanger there at the end, too. Keeping us wondering about who the girl is to Abby. ;) Hopefully they can get out of there before more Na'Vaxii warships descend on them. O_O

        Anyway, enough rambling; excellent chapter, full of pulse-pounding action. Looking forward to reading more. ^^



        May 2, 2015 | Shannon Rohrer

      • Reply

        Oh, it's perfectly fine! I haven't gotten back to yours in a while for the same reason. I really need to limit how many things I read at one time because I can never keep up with everything :P Heh, what fun would it have been if the rescue mission hadn't gone bad? You're right, the Na'Vaxii really do have the Federation completely outmatched. Their only real flaw is that they're really egotistical and don't see the humans as a threat. If they did and actually deployed the full power of their navy against the Federation, they'd wipe them out without much trouble. Luckily, they haven't done that yet. Either they're toying with us because they know they can, or because the rest of their fleet is busy somewhere else.

        I'm glad you enjoyed the space battle. I'm glad you didn't read my original version, which really was terrible. This was one of my earliest battle scenes and... well, it's been edited a lot xD I appreciate the compliments on the technobabble. It's a deep love of mine, and I do enjoy convincing people that my completely random nonsense is perfectly logical xD I do take quite a bit of inspiration from other sci-fi sources, primarily the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica.

        Scarlett and Abby's relationship will remain a mystery to everyone but Abby for quite a while. It's... not a topic she likes to talk about. Hehe, I wouldn't count on it :P Endeavour's troubles with the Na'Vaxii are just beginning, and of course, what fun would it be if the crew didn't keep getting into trouble? Thanks for the comment! :)

        May 3, 2015 | Serina Harcourt

      • Chapter: 10 Reply

        I’m sorry if there’s a lot of mistakes in the comment. I have to write one-handed, since my dog is getting very offended when I stop patting her… :P Anyway, this chapter was very interesting. I wonder if Johnny has anything to do with Scarlett… I’m suspicious xD But then, I suppose if he were on that ship Abby probably would have known about him too, and it seemed like Scarlett was the only one she knew… Plus, since she and Scarlett have the same eyes she’s more likely to be related to Abby, unless he’s like Abby’s cousin or something. Still, I’m convinced he’s got something to do with their connection :P

        I liked the whole sequence of events of this chapter… Especially when the Na’Vaxii left and tensions were high, because I knew they were obviously gonna do something unexpected :P I’m still curious to find out why Hurst wanted to help them. I hope later on they find the time to go through his computer and stuff like they were going to, although I suppose they’ll probably have their hands full for a while with Hurst escaping ad the Na’Vaxii boarding the ship. I have to say, those marines weren’t much use though :P Letting him escape after what, a few minutes? xD Anyway, I’m really worried to see what happens next. I’m getting bad vibes so I fear the Na’Vaxii may come out on top. I hope no-one dies, but of course I fear some are :’(

        June 22, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton

      • Reply

        Aww, well you've got to keep giving her plenty of love then xD I didn't notice any mistakes, so you did vastly better than I would have faired typing one-handed :P With Johnny, he and Abby were friends back on her home planet before she left for Earth to join the Navy. He certainly could have something to do with Scarlett, but he wasn't on the Freedom's Progress with her. Where Johnny is now would be a pretty big spoiler, but you'll find out really soon.

        Ah, the Na'Vaxii... tricky little weasels, aren't they? That was a pretty unusual tactic for them, since they typically prefer to just obliterate whatever they're fighting. Well, assuming they manage to retake the ship, they'll definitely get back to Hurst and take time to search his computer. Abby can't take any chances with Hurst at this point so the second she can turn her attention back on him, she will. Lol, no the marines weren't much use at all, were they? There's a good reason why he was able to escape so easily, but we'll get to that later :P It's good you're getting bad vibes, because things could be taking a turn for the worse for one person in particular. <---- Evil laughter should be cued here xD

        June 23, 2015 | Serina Harcourt

      • Chapter: 11 Reply

        Tsk, Sheridan, don’t you know that the universally recognized distress signal is mauve, not red? Sticking with those silly human ideas… xD Anyway, this was a good chapter. I liked the action and was excited to see what the aliens looked like, since they haven’t been seen before (or maybe they have and I just don’t remember). Anyway the descriptions of them were good and scary-sounding so good job on that. I’m scared because I’m sure they’ve got something up their sleeve, and Hurst is still missing. Eep, I’m almost too afraid to read the next chapter because I’m sure something really bad’s going to happen. But I’m too curious so I know I’ll have to read it despite my fears xD

        Anyway, I really liked learning a little bit of Hope’s backstory as well. It’s sad how she’s worked so hard but is barely acknowledged for it. I can relate to her because I also think I would be very scared if I was on that ship xD Although, I’d probably just hide instead of insisting I go along and stuff, so… yeah, I’m a bit of a wimp xD Still, it was cool how she found the strength deep inside her (yeah, I’m being sentimental again :P) to kill the Na'Vaxii when her friend really needed it.

        July 2, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton

      • Reply

        Haha, yes, what's wrong with him? He really should have known that. So unprofessional xD He kind of screwed up by saying that anyway, since technically the ship was coming into contact with the enemy so he should have said "Battle stations," or "Action stations," or "General Quarters" so he just made all sorts of mistakes xD

        The aliens hadn't been seen or described before this, so you didn't miss anything. Jake might have referred to them as apes at one point, but that's it. I'm glad you liked the descriptions of the Na'Vaxii since despite the fact that I've written a good deal of sci-fi, I've never done too much with aliens :P Well, they would have something up their sleeve if they had sleeves xD Muscle size is a sign of experience, power and social status in their culture. The strong rise high and the weak are kept frail and powerless. Not showing one's arms in their culture would be like walking through the mall stark naked in our culture. Yes, I put entirely too much thought into the Na'Vaxii's culture :P Now Hurst on the other hand... he might be causing quite a bit of trouble before too long. Bring tissues. I'm kidding... or am I? xD

        I'd been wanting to expand the backstories of some of the other characters for a while, but never really had the opportunity. So far they, Hope especially, have just been vehicles for delivering dialogue and exposition and that needed to change. I started with Hope, but some of the others will come along at some point. Lol, I would definitely be hiding if I was on that ship. Of course, I wouldn't have gotten on the ship in the first place but that's beside the point xD But yeah, Hope discovering she really did have the courage to do that is a pretty big deal for her. She's always doubted herself in a way and this will help improve her self-confidence over time. Heh, well if sentimentality really is good for the soul then you're in good shape xD

        July 2, 2015 | Serina Harcourt

      • Chapter: 12 Reply

        Noooooooooooooooo. Why do you do this to me :,( :,( Abby… I really hope she lives. I’m hopeful since she survived through the night, but for all I know you’re just getting my hopes up so you can pull a Ned Stark on me. I’m gonna be very on edge until I read the next chapter… Anyway, overall I liked this chapter. There was lots of tension and heartwarming moments. I liked seeing Jake and Scarlett again. They’re totally best friends, no matter what they say :P Poor Jake. He seems to get caught in awkward situations very often. At least Hope was cool about it. I felt really sorry for him in this chapter :( It’s heartwarming how much he cares for Abby, even though as he mentioned they’ve only talked for like thirty minutes. Nawww.

        Speaking of Jake, I’m glad he gave that paper to Abby… I’m really curious to find out what it is. I really have no idea what it could be, so that’s certainly gonna be interesting. I suppose it must relate to who Hurst is working for and his motivations, like their symbol or something, but I really don’t know what that could be. I must admit I felt a little sorry for Hurst, to be cornered like that and he seemed really frightened… Anyway, I really liked that whole sequence of events. I liked how Abby tried to turn himself and was nearly successful, but then because of one little mistake he shot her anyway. I thought that was really realistic for Hurst to freak out the way he did over the noise.

        There was one thing that confused me a little. It’s about Abby’s blood type. Sorry if you already know this, but although O –ve is a rare blood type it’s the universal donor, so generally medical teams like that would ensure they have a large stock on board since it can be given to any person, no matter what their blood type is. I mean, perhaps they ran out (and since they’ve been fighting and stuff this would be a reasonable explanation) but the way the doctor says it makes it sound like they didn’t bother to have a supply on board, when I think O –ve would be the blood type they’d stock over all others even if they thought the ship wouldn’t get into any scuffles with the Na’Vaxii.

        July 3, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton

      • Reply

        Haha, I do it because I'm actually an evil demoness that feeds on the emotions of her human thralls. There is no escape :P Hmm... pull a Ned Stark on you, huh? Well, that does sound like something I would do xD I'm just not going to say anything at all. Nope, not a single thing :P Jake and Scarlett really are BFF's, no doubt xD They have one of the most fun relationships I've ever written. They're always sort of picking on each other and making fun of each other but they come to love each other in their own way. Hehe, yeah Jake's always getting himself into the most uncomfortable of situations. He needs to work on that. He gets into one pretty soon that's probably my favorite of them all xD As for caring so much for Abby, he sees, perhaps subconsciously, that Abby is someone in need of a great deal of care. On top of that, they've bonded somewhat over Scarlett and let's face it Jake's got a bit of a crush on her, so... there's that :P

        I'm actually really glad you felt sorry for Hurst. I mean, yeah he's done something that seems to be bad but we haven't seen his motivations for what he's doing yet. He was cornered and well aware of the punishment he would face if he were caught. People charged with treason in the Federation are sent to Sunshine, a prison in space closely orbiting the sun. The station has no radiation shielding, so everyone aboard quickly develops all the horrible symptoms of radiation sickness and dies. He had every reason to be really, really frightened since he really had no way out. I think Abby would have been able to talk Hurst down if Sammy the Sniper (that's what I always called him for some reason :P) hadn't knocked over his gun, but I can't say for sure. As for what the paper means, well other than Hurst Abby's the only one on the ship who knows and neither of them are talking so... yeah xD It might take a little time to get to that bit.  

        Heh, you're confused? So am I :P I went back and re-read this chapter because I knew at one point or another Abby had a pretty long conversation about casualties from the boarding and from all the fighting but I thought maybe it had accidentally gotten shifted to a different chapter or something by how I've had to break them up. The medical staff was overwhelmed with all the injuries and were low on just about all their supplies, blood included. Abby even volunteered to donate if she needed to and she planned on contacting the other ships to request some of their supplies. Abby also talked with Sheridan about battle damage the ship took and made plans with Captain Braxton since Endeavour is much more combat capable than the Nightfall is. The Nightfall was forced to withdraw and neither the ship nor Braxton are mentioned again, which will probably seem odd without those scenes in there :P What happened to those bits, I couldn't tell you xD They aren't anywhere to be found. I guess during my many edits, rewrites, and breaking these chapters up into bit sized chunks they got lost. Now I'm going to have to go over the whole thing to make sure nothing else is missing and hope I've still got those missing scenes saved somewhere. I've got at least five different copies of this on a couple of different computers and flash drives, so I'm sure it's still in one of them. I'm really glad you mentioned that, though. I might have never noticed it otherwise. Thanks so much for the comment :D

        July 3, 2015 | Serina Harcourt

      • Chapter: 13 Reply

        Sorry for the long time between comments. I’ve been working on a farm all week and it was very tiring… xD Anyway, I really liked the interrogation scene. I felt kind of sorry for Hurst, but it was funny. Hope and Jake’s differing methods on how to interrogate Hurst were interesting, to say the least. Jake’s certainly very dramatic ;) Anyway, I really hope we find out more about Hurst’s shenanigans soon. It sounds like it’ll be something really interesting… I’m not convinced he would have given them the full story though. I don’t know. I guess it depends on how loyal he is to these people :P  

        Anyway, I’m not sure why I’m only mentioning this now when I’ve been thinking it for a while, but as well as being curious about Abby’s past I’m also curious about Jake. I don’t feel like we know much about him (but for all I know, I’ve forgotten some long and dramatic confession of his backstory in a previous chapter :P) and I wonder if he has any secrets. Well, I’m sure he does, since everyone has secrets, but I wonder what they are xD

        “I could go into details, but none of you would understand it anyway” this line made me laugh so loud I scared my dog. She’s a sensitive little animal sometimes :P Anyway, I really hope this experimental treatment thingy he’s got going works so Abby will live. I still fear a Ned on the horizon, but this has given me a bit of hope.

        July 12, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton

      • Reply

        No worries, please take your time. You wouldn't hear from me for a month if I'd spent a week on a farm. This city girl is far too frail and weak to handle that xD Anyway, I hope the work wasn't too tiring and that the cows were much more friendly this time around ;) I'm glad you liked the interrogation scene, as it's a favorite of mine. It pays homage to a similar scene from Firefly, a short-lived TV show that when away much too soon. Haha, Hurst's shenanigans xD I've got to use that at some point :P We'll get to that soon, but no he didn't give them the full story. All he did was decrypt the files for them. He didn't actually tell them anything about who he's working for. Hurst would never have told them anyway, although that's not necessarily out of loyalty. Instead, it's much more out of fear.

        No, you haven't forgotten any detailed description of Jake's backstory. Not much at all has been mentioned about his past yet. I'm sort of taking my time with revealing everyone's histories, showing who these people are now and then over time going back and talking about where they've come from and the things they've done. With Jake though, he's a pretty ordinary guy. Sure he's got secrets, but there are secrets and then there are secrets :P Jake's got secrets like everyone else, but he doesn't really have any secrets. For lack of a better way to put it, he's got nothing that would interest JTG xD Anyway, you'll be getting a good dose of Abby's backstory very soon and maybe a bit of Jake's too. I say maybe because I can't remember exactly what chapter that part is in :P I think it's in 15 but I could be wrong.  

        Lol! Well, I'm glad I was able to give you a laugh, and equally sorry I made you scare your dog xD That line is a massive cop out for me, given that I had no idea how to describe what Bradford's device did on a scientific level. I was going to technobabble my way through it, but I realized I don't know nearly enough about science and medicine to make it believable and I didn't think 'space magic' would work as a proper explanation :P Ah, hope... I love hope. It gives me something to crush. I'm kidding xD Probably... :P Thanks for the comment! :D

        July 12, 2015 | Serina Harcourt

      • Chapter: 14 Reply

        Abby lives!!! Yay! :) Still, I’m worried. They said there were no side effects so far, but… I suspect these side effects could maybe show themselves in the future >.< Anyway, for now I’m happy that Abby has survived and will be back in action.

        And Jake strikes again with the awkward moments xD Anyway, Abby’s story… :’( :’( I knew it was something bad,  but… To have her world destroyed, and then later the world where her daughters and ex-husband lived destroyed as well… Well, I guess that explains a lot of her actions and demeanour. The whole story was heart-breaking, and I can only imagine how the burden of it must hang over her :(

        Anyway, I’m struggling to see where Scarlett fits into this. Considerng she has the same eye colour and blood type as Abby, I’m assuming they must be related, but I don’t think she’s her daughter. Not after this chapter, since it’s been shown she had two other daughters that were born when she was young, so… If she had another baby before then (since Scarlett is like 14, Abby would’ve had to be like 15 when she was born?), I don’t know why she’d get her adopted onto that ship or whatever. But then, I suppose it would depend on the circumstances. At the moment I’m leaning on the theory that Scarlett is her sister, but again I don’t see how she could have ended up on that other ship, considering Abby said the rest of her family died. Of course, she could just be saying that so Jake wouldn’t suspect anything, or Scarlett could’ve left the world before that, but… Still, that doesn’t seem quite right. So many questions… xD

        July 19, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton

      • Reply

        Thanks for commenting :) Lol, yeah Abby's fine :P Well, not fine exactly, but she's much better. There's always time for side effects xD Days, weeks, months, even years later and something could happen. I'm keeping my options open :P

        That might be Jake's most awkward moment yet xD Don't worry, he has plenty more. He just can't catch a break, the poor guy :P Everything Abby's been through, and she didn't tell Jake everything, definitely hangs over her all the time. She's really closed herself off and locked away her heart because she's so afraid that if she ever lets herself love someone again she'll lose them too. She's spent years and years building up these walls, but Jake and Scarlett (Scarlett in particular) more or less dropped a nuclear bomb on all her defenses. With them around, she's fragile, vulnerable, and downright terrified.

        Well, Abby completely left Scarlett's part out when she was telling the story. She sort of started the story in the middle. She left off the beginning, a bit in the middle, and the end, so Scarlett could fit in anywhere :P Yeah, if Scarlett was Abby's daughter, she would have been around 15 when Scarlett was born. Abby had a big family though, so Scarlett really could be anyone. Whatever their connection is, she doesn't want Scarlett finding out, which is the main reason she didn't say anything to Jake about it. She'd much rather send Scarlett off to a foster family on Earth, protected by a fleet of a thousand battleships, and be rid of her than risk watching her die like everyone else. If she sticks around, she's a chink in Abby's armor and that's something she can't have.

        July 19, 2015 | Serina Harcourt

      • Chapter: 15 Reply

        I really liked how Abby insisted on making an appearance at the bridge. It was a good way of showcasing her character, since she kept going despite the fact she nearly collapsed from the effort of doing it, so she could up her crew’s morale. I think it’ll definitely be a big help for them, to see that she’s still there and fighting and they should, too xD I liked getting a bit more info about Jake too, even though it was only a tiny bit about his family all being pilots :P How dare he be normal and not have any dark secrets ;) Tsk, I expect better Jake.

        It was really interesting to finally learn about One Galaxy… I didn’t really have much of an idea about what their deal was so I was happy to learn about it. I’m worried now, about Hope, Jake and Ava. I just get this feeling that somebody important will find out Abby told them about it and then they’ll all get into a lot of trouble… O.o Anyway, it was interesting how she reacted when Ava asked why Sheridan wasn’t there too. I know she might not have invited him just because she doesn’t have the type of evidence proving he’s not the operative like she had for those three, and it would be pretty bad if he was, because of his position and all, so perhaps Abby’s just being cautious, but… The way she paused and stuff when he was mentioned made it sound like she’s suspicious of him, above all the others in the ship, and I wonder why. I guess he must have done something to make her think he’s working with One Galaxy, but I don’t really know what that could be. Maybe it’s cos of all the risks he was taking and the possibility they could be tracked by the Na’Vaxii, but… I don’t know, he seemed perfectly sincere to me xD But then, maybe I’m too trusting :P

        And yet again, Jake finds himself in an awkward situation. I never thought I’d see anyone (except Tony Abbott, of course ;P) with worse foot-in-mouth disease than me, but I think Jake takes that prize xD Anyway, Abby’s story was sad. Jake’s right, she really has been through too much :( Her reaction to Jake’s line at the end made me really feel for her.

        July 26, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton

      • Reply

        Thanks for commenting :) Despite all of Abby's issues (and she's got a lot of them :P) she really does have a special place in her heart for her crew. She doesn't have a family and she's too afraid to let herself love anyone after all she's lost, so her crew, in a way, fills that void in her life. She's able to care about people without making herself vulnerable by letting herself love them. In some ways, she thinks of them as her children and she really wants to protect them and see them succeed. Yeah, there's wasn't much about Jake there, just a little bit. We'll get to more of Jake's backstory soon, but yeah he really is pretty normal xD There's plenty of other people with dark secrets though, so there won't be a shortage of that.

        Let's just say if anyone did find out Abby had told those three (four, since Scarlett overheard) no one would ever see or hear from any of them ever again. They would, quite simply, disappear from the face of the galaxy never to be seen again. Section 9, a subdivision of the Department of Naval Intelligence that deals with clandestine-type operations, would see to their disposal quite swiftly. As for Abby suspecting Sheridan, she absolutely suspects him. She's suspicious of every single person on the ship and having someone of Sheridan's rank as the operative would be exactly what One Galaxy would do. He's in the perfect position to do all sorts of bad things, and Abby's scared because he's in command of her ship and she's in no condition to take over. That's the biggest reason she didn't invite him. She basically has to trust him, but she's not going to let him in on who she's using as spies just in case he's up to no good.

        Lol, Jake and his awkward situations :P He definitely wins the award for Most Foot-In-Mouth Moments Ever. He'll have plenty of time for more of those moments, and how could he not? It's what he's best at xD Abby will never let him live down the whole peeking down her shirt thing. Never xD Sadly, that's not nearly everything poor Abby's been through :( She easily makes up for Jake's lack of dark secrets. Honestly, I've only ever tortured one other character as much as I have Abby and that's Ariana. Weirdly, they're probably my favorite characters I've written. I wonder if that says something about me? :P   

        July 27, 2015 | Serina Harcourt

      • Chapter: 16 Reply

        And it was interesting to get a teensy bit more info on Jake. It was kind of a sad story, though :( I don’t know why I found it so depressing even though it was ages ago and Jake doesn’t seem that caught up about it, given his apparent crush on Abby. Sentimentality strikes again… :P Heheh, Abby really will never let him forget that looking-down-her-shirt episode, will she? Anyway, that whole scene was sweet, as was the one at the bridge later, but they both made me really nervous. Everyone seems a bit too happy xD That can only spell trouble in my eyes.

        Awww, Scarlett. I really hope she does get to stay with Abby, I think it would be really good for both of them – Scarlett so she can stay with someone she trusts and cares about, and Abby for those things and so she can hopefully learn to love again (I can’t believe I just used a phrase that cheesy :P). Besides, if the adoption services are anything like they are right now it’ll be very difficult for a kid her age to get adopted so she’d probably be stuck in foster care for a while :/

        Lol, the Enterprise xD Even a Sci-Fi noob like me got that reference. Anyway I'm happy that Abby's recovery seems to be going smoothly, at least for now. I’m interested to see what will happen next while they’re on leave (if that ends up happening). I still feel like something bad will happen, but I guess it might not be of the Na’Vaxii variety. I’m scared >.<

        August 4, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton

      • Reply

        Thanks for the comment! Jake... he's not really too bothered by his breakup with Megan. It was so long ago and he's not the kind of guy that's going to pine over a girl. There's a lot of stars in the universe in his opinion, so he's very much over it at this point. That said, it is a pretty sad story. It's definitely something I want to revisit at some point and show more of what happened because although he's over it now, he had a tough time of it when it happened. Lol, absolutely not. No matter how long those two are around each other, she'll never let him forget about that one :P Just because I made a habit back in Warehouse where every time people were happy it meant something awful was about to happen doesn't necessarily mean I've continued that here. We could go a long time without anything bad happening at all... but then, where would the fun be in that? xD

        Abby and Scarlett would both benefit from spending time together. They've got very similar backstories, what with both of them having their homes destroyed and losing their families. Hehe, it might have been a bit of a cheesy line, but it's completely right. She needs to learn to let herself love again. I guess it's really more that she's too afraid to love, but the point still stands that Scarlett would be of great help getting her to open her heart again. Adoption services are the same or maybe even worse. Kids from planets the Na'Vaxii have destroyed end up in refugee camps on other worlds and eventually get placed in foster care. The system is flooded with orphaned children, so Scarlett would have next to no chance of ever getting adopted :(

        Hahaha, yes, the Enterprise xD Every space navy needs an Enterprise, right? Really I just needed a quick name for a ship and Enterprise popped into my head, but it also lets me reference Star Trek, so yay :P There might also one day be a ship called the Centennial Eagle, which is in no way a reference to the Star Wars' Millennium Falcon. It's... just a coincidence xD But yes, Abby's recovery is going quite well for the moment. Things could change later, but for now she's doing much better. Their adventures on Earth will be much different from their antics on Endeavour, that's for sure. Since they don't have the Na'Vaxii to worry about (probably :P) they'll have to find trouble of a purely human variety. Of course, that's not exactly a difficult thing to do, especially when you're Abby. That girl has a habit of finding all sorts of trouble :P

        August 4, 2015 | Serina Harcourt

      • Chapter: 17 Reply

        Abby is a very lucky lady, that’s all I can say :P Well, in this chapter. She hasn’t been very lucky for most of the story. I’m rambling already xD Anyway, I really liked that whole scene, when Abby was being questioned by the admirals. It was very tense and I wasn’t sure what to expect until the end, but I’m glad Abby got through and even got promoted. I was proud of the way she explained her actions and then told them off for their own attitude. The speech she made was very impressive and was touching, especially the part about Scarlett. It makes me even more curious to find out what their connection is… I hope we find out soon.

        Anyway, despite Abby's impressive speech, I can’t blame the admirals for being a week bit narked (I feel Scottish tonight) since, despite her best intentions, Abby’s decision to save the ship did indirectly lead to thousands of people dying in the ensuing Na’Vaxii attack, while only one was saved from the wreckage. But, obviously Abby had no way of knowing it would turn out that way. One thing I thought was a bit strange though, was how it was mentioned that there were seven admirals but only three actually spoke when they were interrogating Abby xD

        Aww, Hope. I’m glad she was recognised too, even if she’s a bit nervous about it. Like Abby, I think she’ll do great, if she gets a bit more confidence. I’m really curious to see what happens next. I’m not sure where Abby’s going next or who she’ll be with on their months off, so I’m excited to find out. Unless there’s a time skip or something, in which case I suppose it won’t matter :P

        August 12, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton

      • Reply

        Thanks for the comment :) Haha, Abby's a very lucky girl, no doubt. Sure, she was exaggerating when she thought that the admirals were talking about how to make her disappear, but... well, let's just say that the Federation wouldn't be above that sort of thing if it suited their goals. Anyway, I'm glad you liked that scene. I've never been completely satisfied with it personally, I'm constantly revisiting it and changing things :P Abby's speech on the other hand is one of my favorite parts. It's the first time she gets to really show what she's made of. She's feisty when she's mad, and their comments about Scarlett definitely made her mad. She might not always see it in herself, but she's a leader. She's an exceptionally good leader and this is one of the times she shows just how strong she is. As for Abby and Scarlett's connection, I'll say soonish xD I don't know exactly when myself right now. I'm very nearly to the part that I haven't written yet. I've got tons more material, but there's a huge gap right in the middle of the story and that's where I'm at right now. So for the time being, I'll stick with soonish because that's probably the best description of it. Now who's rambling? :P

        I felt Scottish myself this past weekend, although in that case I was in a Scottish pub and there were certain amounts of hard cider involved. I'm getting off topic :P Yeah, the admirals had every reason to be a little ticked off. Whatever Abby said about saving lives and that being what she signed up to do (which she does truly believe in) she only went to rescue the Freedom's Progress because she knew Scarlett was onboard. She knew how much trouble she could get into in things went south, but it was a risk she had to take. Oh, so you didn't pick up on the fact that the other admirals are mute? I thought I made it perfectly clear, but I guess I should edit that to make it more obvious... yeah, you're not buying that, are you? xD Either I was being extremely lazy the day I wrote that or I had a bad case of the dumbs. Either way, thanks for pointing that out. I'll add that to my list of edits I plan on making when I next get some free time :)

        Hope's promotion is a direct effect of my changing the story so they returned to Earth instead of... well, something else that we now won't be getting to for a while. Originally Sheridan was going to die during the thing that happens and Hope was going to take his place, but she wouldn't have gotten a promotion since there wouldn't have been anyone around to give it to her. Since they did come back, Sheridan gets to live and Hope ends up in his position anyway. It's a win-win for everyone xD She deserves the promotion, to be sure, and with a little more self-confidence she'll be just fine. There isn't a time skip, or at least not one right now. I did consider it since going to Earth pretty much takes all of the sci-fi out of this story, but there's no way to make the story work if I skip those six months before Endeavour's back in action again. So what comes next will be lacking spaceships and interstellar conflicts, but I hope to make up for it in other ways :P Now, I'm going to shut up considering I'm sure I've blathered on for entirely too long xD      

        August 12, 2015 | Serina Harcourt

      • Chapter: 18 Reply

        Yay, Jake! I thought Abby was gonna leave without him xD I’m glad he’ll be there during the next part of the story, and Scarlett too. Hahaha, speaking of Scarlett she cracked me up in this chapter. Especially when she was telling Jake off towards the end. He’s not the smoothest of fellows, but still, I think he’s pretty much a lost cause in that regard so she could lay off the teasing xD It’s funny how Scarlett acts like a child sometimes (staring at the ice-cream parlour) but then acts very adulty in others, like her rather non-discreet shipping of Jake and Abby. Sorry for rambling, by the way. I woke up at 5 this morning for work so staying up late to comment on things probably wasn’t my best idea ever :P

        It was interesting to see the contrast between Abby in the last chapter and Abby in this one. In this one she seems more... vulnerable, nervous, more unsure of herself. Especially when she was wearing her uniform and nervous about going shopping, it shows how long it must have been since she lived a normal life and could do things like that. I wanna give her a hug :( I hope spending time with Jake and Scarlett will allow her to live normally for a while and hopefully allow her to open herself up a little more. Some peace and quiet will do her good as well, I think. Hopefully, that’s what she gets xD I’m really looking forward to the next few chapters. Any place with more cows than people sounds like a good place to be ;) Gotta love cows.

        August 15, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton

      • Reply

        Thanks for commenting :) I did think about letting Abby and Jake go their separate ways for a while and let them meet up later, but it really just made an already very long story that much longer and didn't add anything to it. The rest of the gang unfortunately won't reappear again in this story at all. They won't be back until the sequel, but they're fine. No need to worry :P Haha, yeah that's the kind of relationship Scarlett and Jake end up having. They're constantly teasing each other and stuff. It's a very brother/sister-ish relationship. Heh, Jake essentially is a lost cause, but who knows? He might surprise you someday xD Scarlett and the ice cream parlor is a scene I very nearly cut. It was from when Scarlett was supposed to be much younger than she is now, but since I've been known to squeal like a little girl at the prospect of ice cream, it stayed xD Lol, don't worry :) I like rambling and besides, I've done the exact same thing before. That or really late at night, occasionally 1 or 2am. I'm honestly surprised people can even make sense of those :P

        I would say Abby is 100% more terrified of what she's doing with Jake and Scarlett than she ever was facing down those admirals. That's just part of the world that she knows and understands. Jake and Scarlett's world is one she doesn't know and is really scared of. On Endeavour she's safe, she's in control and she can comfort herself by saying she's kept a professional distance from Jake and Scarlett. On Earth, she'll have a tough time with that. It's the scariest thing she can imagine, losing control and making herself that vulnerable. Abby would disagree, but yes, peace and quiet would do her a lot of good. It'll give her time to relax and adapt to the world outside the military and see that it really isn't that scary at all. Well, it'll definitely be culture shock for Scarlett xD She's never seen a cow. She's lived in the lap of luxury her entire life. Living on a ranch, even a really nice one, will be a big change for her.  

        August 15, 2015 | Serina Harcourt

      • Chapter: 19 Reply

        And the truth about Scarlett is finally revealed xD Her hair colour… How dare she deceive me with its redness :P Anyway I was really glad to find out the connection between her and Abby at last. I didn’t think Scarlett would be her daughter (since she mentioned her other daughters before, it didn’t seem to work), but I was kind of surprised to see she was Abby’s sister’s daughter. I was thinking cousin or little sister or something :P Which doesn’t make much sense, because age-wise niece is more plausible since there’s a large age-gap between her and Abby. But now I think about it, I have cousins who are pushing 40, so that’s a twenty year age gap between us, which is even larger xD Sorry for rambling, by the way. I’m slightly brain-dead from the endless study I’ve been doing for the past week.

        Anyway, I’d be surprised if Scarlett doesn’t notice the resemblance between them, especially now she’s gone back to her natural colour. She’s smart girl. Maybe it’ll take her a while, but I’m sure she’ll notice how much she looks like Abby eventually, if she hasn’t already and has just been keeping it quiet. I wonder what she’ll do when she finds out. I guess in a way it wouldn’t change much – Scarlett’s adoptive family’s still dead and so is her birth mother (presumably). But as Abby said, it would make her even more determined to be adopted by her. But unlike Abby, I think it’s a good idea – would she really be happy, now she’s met Scarlett and formed a bond with her, watching her go off to live with a foster family where she may not be treated well? Somehow I don’t think she would.

        It’s nice to see Abby becoming a little bit more… open, I suppose? I mean, she’s still pretty closed off, but it’s nice to see she’s starting to consider a relationship with Jake… I think it would be good of her to experience something like that again. And I’m sure it would make him very happy too ;) Still, I’m not really sure what will happen between them, after the end. She seems a tad annoyed with him, even though I think he spoke the truth :P Anyway, overall I really liked this chapter. I’m glad to get some answers to those questions and am curious to see what will happen now. I hope it’s nothing terrible, at least not for a while xD I don’t think my heart can take it.

        September 12, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton

      • Reply

        Hehe, that hair color thing is going to be a major pain to deal with now. Since originally Scarlett and Abby weren't related, Scarlett's hair was naturally red. Now, I chose to change all of that so she's naturally a brunette. The only problem is that I've got literally hundreds of pages of material to go through and change every mention of Scarlett having red hair. Sigh... the things I make myself do :P Anyway, I wouldn't say the whole truth about Scarlett is revealed, just most of it. Abby is operating completely based on fear at the moment. She's scared absolutely out of her mind and every decision she makes is based on minimizing any potential damage. Abby's still hiding quite a bit of stuff about her past, and she'll keep doing as long as she feels she needs to. She knew Jake had recognized their resemblance, so she knew she had reveal something of her past. Even so, she made sure to hold back as much as she could to limit the damage if Scarlett found out. The only problem is she didn't think it through very well xD There's a flaw with her story that Jake didn't notice and Abby never even considered :P I did think about Scarlett maybe being Abby's little sister for a while, but I couldn't come up with a convincing reason why she ended up on the Freedom's Progress. Of course, that could just be lack of imagination on my part :P

        I was thinking about how Scarlett might notice their resemblance just last night. I'm not sure when it'll hit her, but it has to eventually. She definitely hasn't noticed anything yet, but I do think subconsciously she has some idea and when she does eventually find out I don't see it being a big surprise to her. Deep down, she already knows. No, you're absolutely right that Abby wouldn't be happy to see Scarlett go live with a foster family at all. It's not what would make her happy, but Abby's pretty much at the point where she doesn't believe she'll ever be happy again. Every time she's been happy her life's been torn apart, so she's not thinking about what will make her happy. She's seen her entire family murdered and in her mind if Scarlett stays with her and they start a happy family, she'll end up losing Scarlett too. It's an illogical line of thought, but Abby's basing her decisions on fear, not logic. She's given up on finding permanent happiness and all she cares about is protecting the only thing left in the world that she loves. She thinks that Scarlett would be safer with another family than she would be with her. The thing is, adopting Scarlett is exactly what she needs to do if she really wants to be happy. She's just too scared to do it.

        On the flip side from Scarlett, a relationship with Jake is something Abby can seriously consider. It's scary for her because it does require her to open her heart, but if anything happened to Jake it wouldn't be as painful a blow as it would be if it were Scarlett. She thinks she could survive losing Jake. They're both soldiers and she's used to that kind of loss, so she's considering lowering her defenses that far. Haha, yes Jake would be very pleased about that, no doubt :P He really has no idea what he's getting himself into with her, but yeah, he'd be happy. Abby is annoyed with Jake there at the end, mainly because he did speak the truth. He's right, she knows it, but she doesn't want him to be right :P

        Anyway, thanks for commenting. I'm glad you liked this chapter, and... well, define 'terrible'. I'm kidding! They're on Earth, after all. There's a fleet of a thousand spaceships up there keeping them safe. What could possibly go wrong? I mean one of them could trip and fall in a hole and break their leg or something, but compared to interstellar space battles, Earth problems seem so mundane xD I miss space already :P

        September 12, 2015 | Serina Harcourt

      • Chapter: 7 Reply

        I know I say this almost every time, but sorry for being incredibly late on the continuation of reading this. ^^;

        As always, loved the attention to detail in regards to the ship, and the dialogue (especially the banter between Abby and Jake) never disappoints. Always nice to have a bit of levity in a tense situation. Whatever her relationship is to the girl, Abby is hiding it well—unless it is simply that Scarlett reminds her too much of whatever it was that happened in her past. I’m guessing the girl looks just like someone she lost, someone she was close to.

        I never get tired of a good firefight. You’ve clearly done a fair bit of research, because Abby’s orders sound incredibly natural. :) Battling against the Na’Vaxii is incredibly personal for her, isn’t it? I can’t remember if it was something you touched on earlier in the story, or if it’s something you’ve been building up to with subtle tidbits here and there, but I love how she’s such a strong character, yet so very human, too. You’ve done very well giving them unique personalities, and complex feelings and motives. Characterization, character growth, and interaction are some of my favourite aspects in writing, and you deliver on all three counts.

        I really like how you handled pretty much everything. I came across two errors. The first was when Scarlett asked if it was a warship, you left the “y” out of suddenly; the second was a missing end-quotation when Jake said they weren’t on a luxury cruise. ^^; Aside from that, nothing else popped out at me error-wise.
        I like the sound of the fabricator system; think of all the problems that could be solved if we actually had something like that? :)

        The dialogue at the end was the perfect way of wrapping up the chapter. You can practically see Abby’s resolve strengthening, and giving Scarlett both comfort and hope at the same time.

        Excellent work. I’ll be sure to continue a lot faster than before. ^^

        September 28, 2015 | Shannon Rohrer

      • Chapter: 8 Reply

        This was an excellent chapter, start to finish. I did find a couple of typos and a word omission, but nothing a quick look-through on your word processor wouldn't catch (I would have tried to quote them for you, but I notice that it jumps to the top of the chapter every time I go to type in the comment box Must be a new Spark a Tale glitch). ^^;

        I love how you manage to keep the complicated details in relation to the ships and weaponry interesting. It doesn't read the least bit like a text book, but like a true story. :) The interactions between characters, the tension building up toward a major assault, and pretty much all of the details--great and small--are exceptionally well written. Looking forward to seeing whether this next battle against the Na'Vaxii goes as badly as Mosley fears, or if they come out on top, like Abby hopes.

        (I also gotta say, I love the character and ship names; I feel like you're paying tribute to a fair number of sci-fi and fantasy characters, places and such through those names.)

        September 28, 2015 | Shannon Rohrer

      • Reply

        Thanks for the comments! Please, don't apologize. I'm eternally late and incredibly forgetful. Just today I remembered I promised to read something on fictionpress a month ago and I still haven't done it. I'm bad and I feel bad :P

        Well, put Abby and Jake together for very long and you're sure to lighten the mood a little bit. Poor Jake's always embarrassing himself around her somehow. With Scarlett, Abby doesn't want anyone to catch on that their might somehow be a connection between them. That's something she'll keep close to her chest for a long time.

        Hehe, my brother's in the Navy, so I get a bit of advice from him from time to time on how Abby should give orders and talk to the crew. Then I put my own spin on it and go with it. Abby hates the Na'Vaxii with a passion and she has very good reasons for it. It's not anything I've mentioned at this point, but you're getting there :P I'm glad you like Abby's depth. Sometimes I feel like she's not... I don't know if I want to say realistic or not, but anyway I'm glad you think that aspect is ok :)

        I like to think the details of ships and stuff works because I'm not at all attempting to remain scientifically accurate :P I love technobabble and without it, I couldn't begin to tell you how half the stuff these people use works. Fabricators, Translight drives, particle beam arrays... yeah, no. It flows because the characters believe it since all this advanced technology is so commonplace in their world. I don't have to go deep into detail with it to the point where it gets boring.  

        Thanks for pointing out those errors! I'll add them to my list and the next time I can convince my incredibly lazy self to do an editing pass, I'll be sure to fix them. Editing... ugh, I hate it so much :P It doesn't help that I don't like reading my own work either.

        Haha, you're noticing my tendency to reference things via ship names :P I haven't done it much with characters, but I do it frequently with ships. You won't ever see something as prominent as a UEF Millennium Falcon flying around, but you might eventually catch a glimpse of the Centennial Eagle out there somewhere. No, that's not a joke xD

        September 29, 2015 | Serina Harcourt

      • Reply

        Lol! Glad I'm not the only one. ^^; Sounds like we both took on more reading than we can handle at a time (on top of everything else).

        Heh, I'd noticed. Poor Jake. He just can't seem to keep it together around her. I can't imagine why... ;)

        That's awesome. I'm glad your brother is able to help you with some of the orders and general jargon, and that you fill in the rest from there. You definitely keep the functions of the various forms of tech and weaponry interesting, and you're right--it's because you don't overdo it that it works. Some people get so caught up in that aspect of the writing, it winds up hitting that boring/extraneous detail area. You're not one of them. :) 

        Ah, I see! Good to know it wasn't information I'd forgotten or missed. I look forward to figuring out just what Abby and Scarlett's connection is...though I imagine that will be a pretty painful reveal for Abby. ^^;

        No problem. ^^ Sorry I couldn't point them out in better detail. Lol, I know what you mean; I can't think of many people who actually enjoy it, other than to improve their work. Otherwise, it's a royal pain. Heh, I'm guessing you've read through your work so many times you're just sick of it? I know that feeling, too. I love my story and characters, but too much time spent on one scene, and even the ones I most enjoyed writing start to irritate me. xD

        Lol! I'll definitely be keeping my eyes open for the Centennial Eagle.



        September 30, 2015 | Shannon Rohrer

      • Chapter: 20 Reply

        It was really sad to see Scarlett break down at last about losing her world and family :( Especially when she spoke of her mum and the regret she feels that she didn’t say goodbye properly to her. Still, despite what Abby thinks, I believe she did the best job she could do at comforting Scarlett. I mean, it’s an impossible situation, really. No matter what Abby or anyone else said, all that hurt’s still going to be there underneath. The only thing that’ll lessen that is time, and a lot of it. I think Abby showed Scarlett she understands how she feels and, most importantly, she’s not alone, which is probably the best thing for her right now. On other things, I’ curious to see what will happen with her and Abby. Will Abby tell her about their connection, or will Scarlett figure it out for herself since they look so alike? I hope I don’t have to wait too long to find out, but somehow I get the feeling that’s wishful thinking on my part :P I’m sure the mystery will be kept for a little while long, at least.

        I liked (in a sad way) the part where Abby explained what happened on Earth after Episky’s destruction to Jake. Even though we knew parts of it already and had a general gist of what happened, it’s still really sad to hear the full story from Abby herself :( It’s a terrible burden to live with, knowing her actions led to the deaths of three innocent people. Still, although obviously she’ll probably never put it behind her completely, I do hope she stops blaming herself quite so much. I mean, she is right in that at the end of the day it was her decisions and her actions that led to their deaths, but even so, what she was dealing with… Well, I think the vast majority of people would go off the rails too in a situation like that.  

        Anyway, that ending scene was really well written and makes me very curious to see what will happen next. The Na’Vaxii destroyed that planet so easily it really makes me wonder why they never attacked one of the inner colonies before now. If they had the power, why didn't they do it before? What changed. It's all so curious xD Anyway, overall that whole sequence was very gripping and ominous and I’m really curious to see what happens next and how Abby, Jake, Scarlett and Co. will (I assume :P) be involved.

        And this was just something I noticed, but at one point in this chapter you described Scarlett as a redhead. I wasn’t sure if this was accidental or whether she dyed her hair back again after getting rid of the redness in the last chapter :P

        August 28, 2016 | Genevieve Middleton

      • Reply

        Yeah, I've known everything with Scarlett had to come up soon. I wasn't quite sure when, but I knew it had to be soon. This ended up being a chapter filled with sadness anyway, so I squeezed Scarlett's breakdown in there just so I could be done with it during an already depressing chapter. I mean, I end it by killing millions of people, so you know :P That's always why I put in what I like to call 'Happy Abby' there at the beginning with her talking about her love of space (which is really just me sharing my own love and thoughts about space xD) to counter-balance all the sadness. Abby really did do the best job she could have done trying to help Scarlett. Her self-confidence is practically zero when it comes to anything not related to her job, so she doesn't think she has any hope of actually being any use to Scarlett. Despite that though, she has some pretty strong motherly instincts and they serve her well when she listens to them. As for whether or not Abby will tell Scarlett, well its unlikely that she'll willingly reveal the information unless she's forced to. She doesn't want Scarlett to know, so unless she's forced into it she'll keep it to herself. Scarlett is pretty smart though, so it's certainly possible she could find out on her own. Jake noticed their resemblance quite quickly, so Scarlett could as well. Subconsciously, I think Scarlett already knows but just hasn't realized it yet. But yeah, I wouldn't say you'll have to wait too long to find out. This not being in the mystery genre, I don't have to keep too many secrets xD

        You're right that Abby will probably never completely let go of what happened with the car crash. That moment has come to define who she is and why she does some of the things she does. She'll never forgive herself for it, and what's worse is that the navy won't allow her to be punished for it. Her punishment, essentially, is living with it. As you say though, in Abby's situation most people would probably lose their minds. I know I would. She's being exceptionally hard on herself, but that's who Abby is.

        The Na'Vaxii have the military and naval power to wipe the Federation from the face of the galaxy. Yeah, just let that sink in for a minute :P The Federation is hopelessly outmatched by the Na'Vaxii in population, military might, industrial capacity, pretty much everything. That said, there certainly are reasons why they haven't just swept humanity aside. It's mentioned somewhere (I hope :P It's supposed to be in there somewhere, but I can't remember exactly which chapter) that the Na'Vaxii destroy one or two planets a year, sometimes less. They hit humanity, knock them back, show them who's boss, and then withdraw engaging only in small skirmishes and random ambushes in the interim. Why attack the Inner Colonies now? There's a reason, but we won't get to it for a very long time :P But still, if you look at how the Na'Vaxii fight the war and how they seem to view the threat level humanity poses to them, you might be able to pretty much figure it out. As for Jake, Abby, Scarlett and the rest, well they'll definitely be involved. We haven't seen the last of Endeavour and the crew either.  

        See? This is what happens when I change things :P Scarlett was never meant to be anything but a redhead, it was her natural hair color. But then I got the bright idea (after writing hundreds of pages worth of material with her as a redhead) that she and Abby would be related and I wanted their hair color to match, so now I've got to go back and change every reference to her being a redhead. Either that, or she'll dye her hair back red again so I don't have to worry about it. On second thought, that's probably what I'll do. 

        August 28, 2016 | Serina Harcourt