Original notes that were written with the story. Grammar issues and changing of the email (and excluding my Facebook page) are the only edits I have made.
Thank you for making your way through the fourth and final installation of Moon Trek Neo. As I always say, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
I like to use these notes to kind of explain myself, to try and answer some of the questions I think I might get in any mails. Before I go into that though, I thought I would bring to light the obvious.
I am not a professional writer.
It wasn't until I actually had one look at a piece of one of my stories that I realized exactly how many 'mistakes' I really make. To be quite honest, I think I probably made a million 'writing' mistakes in this story. I hope the ones that may have been overlooked in proofreading are small enough that the plot makes up for it.
Secondly, this story moves rather slowly. I have never been a big fan of spy novels because of that. However the previous stories have all been working up to the secession of Vulcan and the conspiracy between Young and Salek, so obviously it had to have the payoff. I tried to compensate with the emotional scenes - a couple of which actually had me crying after writing them (yes, I am a baby, leave me alone) – and the action scenes.
There was also a notable lack of B and C stories in this novel. One of the reasons was rather self-serving, as it helped me keep track of things, the other was to help you. The story was complex enough (and slow enough as I mentioned earlier), I felt, that I didn't need to slow it down with random bits like Usagi's dating life and a pointless (yet awesome) sex scene with Shampoo and Jansen.
Now let's talk about some of them characters, eh?
Rei & Kio. Wow, they're not going to be going out for lattes at Starbucks anytime soon, are they? Their conflict began in NEO1, though it wasn't as rough. Was more of a Drill Sargent/private type relationship. I could totally see Rei though with her A-type personality, pushing and pushing on Kio, since Kio's failure would reflect on Rei, Rei being her supervisor.
Kio herself doesn't seem really good for the position she's in, but that's where she gets complicated. She's actually very good at what she does, she just still has a chip on her shoulder (giving a little irony to her accusing Rei about the chip on hers) after her husband was killed prior to her joining the NEO group.
It's caused her to lose some confidence, but she's been propped up by her teammates. Of course when Mike dies, in an ambush, much like how her husband was killed (and if you don't remember the explanation in NEO1, she was commanding that squad as well) she went a little batty.
I'd like to think her and Anthony's relation needs no explanation.
Salek & Young. These are, to be honest, my two favorite characters to write, and one of the main reasons I was happy I continued this arc. Salek is the more difficult one as he has to both be evil and diabolical, while at the same time being logical and at least semi-emotionless.
Of course, you have to remember, Vulcans HAVE emotions. They just repress them.
Young was easier, as he could be freer to be 'an ass', but at the same time, he had to be a lot quieter about it, since his involvement being discovered would have been terrible.
One of the most interesting and difficult things I think I had to write in this story was how one would use a mind meld to interrogate someone. It's been a long time since I have seen an episode of Trek with a mind meld in it, and I couldn't exactly remember how it goes, but the internet saved me again, sort of.
At any rate, I think it worked out. Killing Saanik in the process of the meld was a little depressing, but it gave a reason for Ranma to refuse it and it put a little more emotion into the scene (I will discuss the waterboarding shortly).
Minako & Ryouga. Obviously, if you read the whole story, which I hope you did if you're reading this, otherwise you've ruined the entire story, you know exactly what happens to these two. I am willing to bet though that I shocked the hell out of you when I had Ryouga shove Minako into that chair.
Shocked me too, and I wrote it.
Ryouga is passionate. I can see him getting a little physical to get his point across. Obviously, he would never, ever hurt her. He loves her. But raising his voice?! Is that healthy?
He's Ryouga. People who know me know I've never liked him (heh) but nonetheless, I put him with my favorite SM character. I think they go together like cookie dough and ice cream, to be honest, and yeah, maybe, if they disagree he might get loud, but I think she's going to call him names back in words he can't even pronounce. They'll be fine.
The rest. There were a couple of other characters I wanted to have sub-stories for.
Usagi, she's developed a reputation for, ahem, enjoying the company of ship's security personnel. Not necessarily in THAT way, mind you. Personally, I think she's far too naïve for THAT. But you'll note in the Benny's scene at the beginning there was a security officer flirting with her, then she had one as a date at the wedding in the epilogue and was seemingly flirting with the Marine groomsman as well. I don't remember which one it was either but a different story also had her flirting with security.
She's cute. It could happen.
Lt. Jeff Fuchs the councilor was absent from this story. I had considered bringing him in for the interrogation scenes but figured someone who could repress their emotions wouldn't put off the 'I'm lying' vibes a Betazoid could sense anyway. As for his B story, I made a point in the epilogue to show that he'd decided to go through with his threat of asking Lt. Kaii out (NEO3) by having them together at the wedding.
Again, I didn't really expand on these stories as the novel ran slow enough as it was and in some places switched back and forth between Earth, the Salvation, Vulcan, and other locations too often for my own liking without adding in something that didn't add anything to the plot or necessitate character development.
So, I waterboarded Salek.
Yeah, and quite frankly I hated every second of it.
I've not been shy about interjecting my own personal opinions into my stories, after all, they are, my stories. After reading this it should be quite obvious that I am against the practice and I share both Ranma and Shampoo's opinion of it.
One of the things that actually bothered me when I decided to do it though was making Makoto do it. I wondered if she would actually do it, considering what happened after MT1 & MT2.
Quick recap, in MT2, Makoto spent a lot of time reliving memories of torturing people for both Section 31 and after going rogue because of an implant that basically deactivated her conscience. She was hurt pretty bad by this, but mostly from the recent activities, as they were done against innocents in the commissions of crimes while acting as a pirate.
It was the latter part of that which allowed me to go ahead with Makoto as the interrogator. Because Salek wasn't an innocent, I could see Makoto falling back to her Section 31 roots, telling herself 'at all costs' and having no qualms at all about torturing Salek to get the information Larson needed.
Rei on the other hand abhors Section 31 since she still blamed them (whether correctly or not) for the death of Mamoru. She is also very loyal to Ranma for allowing her a second chance with the NEO teams and does not like the fact that Larson, through Makoto, is subverting Ranma's authority.
Then there is the simple fact that Rei does not like the idea of torture in and of its self. Obviously, it disturbed her enough to pull her phaser on her friend.
In the end, I eventually tortured Salek till he confessed anyway, more or less. However, I think I made my point, got a couple of good lines out of Shampoo, and managed to build on the conflict that had been developing between Ranma and Larson.
Speaking of which...
How did those two turn from homeboys in MT2 to having Ranma threaten to fire on him?
Ranma said it best. 'A ship cannot have two captains.' While Larson was indeed running the mission and outranked Ranma (Larson was a four-pip Admiral), Ranma was the captain of the ship. As is naval tradition, what he says, goes, so long as it's following the orders of the Admiral.
I'm sure there are Starfleet regulations in there too, regarding that.
Larson micromanaged and micromanaged and Ranma, who was already growing suspicious of Larson due to all the 'favors' he seemed to be getting from the Romulans (remember Larson's key phrase from the beginning of the story – 'Nothing's free') had grown tired of it.
Eventually, the conflict had reached an apex, but Larson, who had worked with few people his life, was unready for the loyalty a crew was ready to give their captain. There we saw, what I lovingly refer to as the 'reverse mutiny' where the entire crew of the Salvation quit.
The conflict again grew when the Terran Defense Fleet was firing on them and Larson was going to destroy the disabled Starfleet ship.
Despite them having firing on the Salvation, Ranma compassion towards her crew, who much like Ranma's crew, was caught up in the mess purely due to happenstance, nearly caused another mess.
In the end, though, it seems to have worked out.
Yeah. I could have had so much fun with her. I made her captain of the Infinity for a ton of jokes that never got written. It was just too long, too slow, and in the end, unnecessary.
Perhaps we'll see a spinoff someday, like Moon Trek: Infinity. Perhaps.
Seriously though, is this the last Moon Trek story?
Supposed to be. But who knows. I really like writing these and I am pretty stupid, so I don't know if I can manage to cobble together another decent franchise. Check back in ten years.
It seems only fitting that the now longest Moon Trek story would have the longest Author's Notes. So I will conclude here. Hopefully, I will stop having website issues so you can always get a copy of the stories. As well, if you want to contact me about anything you can email me – firstname.lastname@example.org.
As well I plan on making a Moon Trek fan page so you can post and yell at me about things if you'd like. You can also post good things too. That would be kind of cool.
Twitter is also an option. @erinwinking.
Thanks a ton.