Transformers Fanfics, Essays, Author Interviews and More...! Established 1996!
I just wanted to say that this story is really interesting. I grew up with the G1 cartoons and Starscream was one of my favorite Decepticons characters. I like the emotion in the story, it really makes the reader feel for the characters, especially Starscream's plight and also Optimus' delima in doing what the senate wants and following their orders yet wanting to do what's right for Starscream at the same time. Anyway, good story, I'll be looking forward to seeing more.
Author's Response: Thank you for the kind words. Another chapter will be appearing quite soon. Glad you're liking the story.
I thought the opening quote was well chosen and quite insightful. :)
"Culling the unsavory and weak elements"? Prowl is being quite the little Nazi. :O
The grammar and spelling in this chapter pleased me. It was well crafted and polished, and I barely noticed it as I was reading-always a very good sign! :) You're also doing a good job of showing rather than telling; the characters are expressing their emotions through facial expressions and gestures and everything else. That made the story engaging and believable and drew me in.
My favorite scene was (of course) the little part about Starscream at the end. :)
- It involved the beloved, interesting main character (of course!)
- Lots of struggling and suffering going on for the main character (always entertaining)
- Had the most *meaningful* conflict of all scenes (Mecurion had the *most* conflict, but I don't care about his problems, lol)
- I rather liked Ratchet's analysis of how Starscream's mental state might help or hinder his recovery. That was a cool idea, well thought out. It translated nicely from the human world to the robot world, unlike many other human things (i.e. pregnancy, etc). You made it believable.
- I thought the confrontation between Ratchet and Starscream played out rather well; I appreciate it that Starscream opened up only a little and didn't just gush everything out. You're keeping it natural and not forcing the characters to go too fast. :) Good job.
For the scenes with Mecurion, I found that I liked the ending part of the scene better than the beginning. When the first scene opened up, I wasn't sure how it tied into Starscream's problems; I wasn't sure what goals Soundwave was trying to achieve; and I didn't really know the characters that well. The result was that I just wasn't too interested, even though Mecurion was getting mauled. ;P But, in the second half of the scene that changed. Now I knew what specifically Soundwave was trying to accomplish and what the significance of the murder was. Now I'm beginning to see why this scene is important for Starscream and how this is trouble on the wind for him. Because of course anything that promises to make Starscream's life even worse is sure to grab my attention. ;) Somehow I have the nasty suspicion that Starscream is going to take the blame when Iacon's defenses are breached. Either that or he'll end up captured by the Decepticons... Hm! Oh, and I did love that Mecurion's first thought was for the cost of the carafe and the cabinet. XD That was a wonderful insight into his character. He was a very well-wrought OC, not annoying at all. I wish everybody wrote OCs as well as you do. :)
A confession-I just ignored the time units. :P Days, hours, minutes, does it matter, really? Everybody uses a different definition for the terms and I don't bother to keep track. You could probably use human time units and it would work just as well. The original TFs occasionally did use human measurements, though they also used weird time units when time didn't really matter to the story.
For critique, I suppose what struck me the most was that the story slowed down a lot when Prowl was going over all the reasons he didn't like Starscream and Optimus Prime was reviewing what had happened at Simfur. I got a critique once where an insightful person complained that my characters stood around and thought-a LOT. The critiquer was right; it made my story crawl. :P It didn't help that I was repeating stuff that the reader already knew, either. I suppose the problem with characters musing is that there's no action going on and no movement towards goals. Sigh. It's hard to know what is valuable to keep and what should be cut. I guess if the reader starts skimming, there's probably an issue with something. I didn't quite skim, but I was anxious to move onto something more interesting, if you know what I mean? I don't know. I'll just let you chew on that one. Maybe some of the musings would work better as a conversation/argument between two characters?
The other thing is that I wish I could "see" the places in this story better. :) Events kind of float in a vacuum when there is no scenery. Take for example the commissary. Right now the only things I can picture about it are some tables, an energon dispenser, and a bunch of people sitting around the room. That's okay, but you can make it shine without too much trouble. :) One of the best ways to make a place more intriguingly unique is to invent little stories about it. For instance, when was the room built, and who built it, and why? Was it built 20 years ago, and is it beginning to show its age? Are the floors scratched, smooth, or dirty with energon droplets left by the diners? Or was the commissary built 5,000 years ago, meaning that its furnishings are outdated and it has quaint, old-fashioned ceiling lights? Was it originally built by the Decepticons using purple metal before it was captured by the Autobots and used for their purposes? Did the room once belong to a hotel that was renovated to incorporate it into the base's apartment complex, and does it still have some of the luxurious settings that were used back then? Did a bomb hit the building some years ago and necessitate that half the room be rebuilt? Is there a window, and does the window have a view? Has the base expanded or gotten smaller since the commissary was built?-i.e., is the commissary overcrowded or thinly habited? Who are the people using the commissary? Night shift workers? What job did they do? A batch of trainees on lunch? Soldiers? High rankers, low rankers? Is there a separate area for officers? From which branch-regular army, special ops, engineering corp, physicians, logistics? Secretaries? From which department? Are the diners loud, or quiet? Tired or peppy? Cheerful or gloomy? Relaxed or hurried? Mechs or femmes? Old hands or newbs? Are there any decorations, i.e. motivational posters, propaganda, murals painted by the local artists, geometric patterns etched into the walls? What are the chairs like? Cheap, squeaky, rusty, dirty? Or are they benches? Are they painted a loud color, and is the paint in good condition? How many tables are there? What are the tables made out of? Beaten up orange metal? Dully shining steel? Finely polished glass? Are they round, square, or rectangular? Is there a centerpiece? Is there a complimentary bottle of fuel additives provided for the diners? Is the bottle empty or full? What does the room smell like? What *does* energon smell like? What do the people smell like-are they clean, or dirty after a hard day's work? Is there construction going on in the room across the hall, filling the air with welding fumes? What sorts of noises can the characters hear? Laughter, chatting, whispering, music? Is there a road nearby or an airport? Are there artillery drills going on in the background? Sirens? Intercom announcements? Marching feet going down the hallway outside?
It's the little details that make a scene spring to life in a reader's mind-for example, the carafe. That had an excellent story. I had that carafe pictured vividly in my mind. And so that's what I wish I could see for the rest of the story too. :) If fanfic.net had a rating system, I would give your star another star if you added good scenery to all the other rooms. ^^
One last nitpick: the word "pedes." In the original show they just said "feet" and "hands." Another problem with using Latin words for body parts is that it will break readers out of a story when they stumble over the unfamiliar words. If you've read five dozen ff.net fanfics, you'll get used to it, but until then it will seem odd and the reader will stop and stare at the word for a moment. When that happens it's like a skip in a CD-the reader gets broken out of their "waking dream" and realizes that they are staring at words on a page instead of being engrossed in the story. In a nutshell, the story is more inaccessible to newer fans if you just use normal words for body partss. Anyhoo, I don't think that Transformers speak Latin anymore than they speak English. ;p Heck, I even speak Latin myself and it still looks weird to me. -.*
Anyway, great job! :) I have a feeling the next chapter is going to be the most exciting one yet!
I'm glad you decided to explore the wonderful world of AU's. ^_^ Can't wait to see where you take the story!
Author's Response: Oh, I have plenty ideas for it. Just need to be able to find the time to get them down. ^^" Hope you enjoy the chapter I've just posted. ^^
This part of Starscream and Skyfire's story has been retold many times, but you added enough new spin on it to keep it from getting old. :) I'm glad you summarized what you did; the details you peppered it with were just enough for me to visualize the action. The plot sounds promising, and I wish that the story could have continued on for a few more pages to start getting into it. Good line at the end-grabbed me right in. ^^
But I say if you can get there on just one tank of gas, it's not exploring. ;) Why not just carry some solar panels to recharge as you went?