|Reviews for Trials: Wild Blue Yonder|
| LongLiveTheClones 10/14/12 . chapter 26
Nooooooooooo! It can't be over!
There are so many stories left to be told! I need my weekly fix of Tully! That's it. Send Tully over to my place to spend the winter with me, and I'll be happy. I'll have him cured of that blindness in no time.
Yes! Of course I want a preview for Dark Mirror. I love this story.
I assume we'll get an update on the adventures of Keo, Risky and the gang. I've missed those guys. Would like to hear what happened to them after they split up.
And, Mundali in danger! Whoa! Does that mean we get more of the luscious Captain Stone? Mmmm... Hey, didn't Rex end up on Mundali? Does that mean Rex and Stone could team up together to defend the planet? Captain and Captain fighting side-by-side? Oh, geez, be still my beating heart. Seriously, you're killing me here. As long as they get to kill that creepy Tremayne, I'm happy.
Drake shut his own eyes, and wished – not for the first time in his life – that there were two of him, though he was aware of the irony of the thought, being a clone and all. But when his eyes opened and his gaze fell on her, he realized that he couldn't leave her side, now.
Ha ha ha! This line is so funny! But, also so romantic, as well. Love what you have done with the romance between these two, and the way it echoes the romance between Stone and Kali.
And, in the end, Corliss betrayed them after all. That deceptive little... uggh... I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but still, I just want to strangle her myself.
Anyway, can't wait for the sequel!
| Queen 10/13/12 . chapter 26
Love that we get to see the end of the last chapter from Drake's perspective, but more importantly, seeing all his thoughts and feelings regarding Zara once he'd gotten her away. I love how dedicated he is to her, how determined to take care of her and protect her. His talking to her while she's still out of it was really very touching - still trying to communicate, to explain what's going on, even though she's clearly out of it.
And yay, they did get the holocron! With all the focus on Drake and Zara, Johari's victory there seemed to breeze by a bit - Tully brings it back to the forefront with his usual sense of humor. And Big Damn Heroes! Love the Firefly reference, and Trax uses it so well. lol, and Tully would appreciate Traxis' sense of humor, wouldn't he? Putting them in a room - possibly with Crest - would be pretty funny.
That IS some information Corliss unearths - a lead on Atreus? That's also some very fancy hacking, if she was able to get into an Imperial database so easily. But still - it sounds like things may be coming to a head, regarding Atreus and Johari, sometime in the near future (which looks like it will be the next story, seeing as this is the last chapter...) Corliss is also showing her darker side here, which does make me wonder how things will play out for her in the future. She's still being manipulative and playing Drake and Zara off each other, which does make me wonder whether or not she really will manage to break free from Treymane's hold. It certainly doesn't seem that way, here.
A very open ending, as the story finishes here. So I'm all for a preview of the sequel! The final image of our villain discovering he hasn't lost after all is a rather chilling one to end on, you've gotten quite a situation going with Corliss, Drake and Zara are still trying to muddle their way through their relationship, we still don't know what's going on with Keo and the other group. And a possible rescue of Atreus. So much to look forward to in the next story! I'll be looking forward to the rest, whenever you're ready to share it.
| DoubleEO 10/12/12 . chapter 26
:) Yay! :) LOL, for the preview of Dark Mirror. That's okay. I know what it's like to try to get something done in time and then having something else take it's place on the top of the list. :) Good chapter. Nice to know that the other guys are okay.
| sachariah 10/12/12 . chapter 26
And so it finally comes to a close... sort of.
Thankfully, not yet. I was a little surprised the holocron didn't seem to get much more than a passing mention; I guess the idea is that it wasn't the holocron so much as it was Johari's journey that was the subject, but I'm still awfully curious as to what they plan to do with it, or what it looks like for that matter. I don't recall seeing when Johari actually found it, but then again I might have missed it what with the Maelibus creature stealing the show.
In fact, in many ways this story leaves more questions than it answered, and that's not a bad thing (though it does make you extra mean for not having the sequel ready on time XP).
Zara and Drake are virtually in the same predicament they were in the beginning. Oh they've grown and their relationship has matured and they've learned a lot, but in the end Zar is still calling the shots - mostly based on her feelings - while Drake grits his teeth and follows behind; his determination is admirable, and his love for Zar is on full display. Zara I am still concerned about; the foreshadowing is more than clear, with the Padawan still letting her emotions guide her more than her head, brushing with the Dark side, and apparently unwilling to defer to Drake's judgment almost ever.
Corliss's loyalty seems to be to Tremayne has before - her bond with Zar doesn't seem to have changed that at least yet, and she's showing some very Sith-like qualities by recognizing Drake's potential in manipulating Zara.
The Miralukan Jedi has opened an entirely new dilemma for Johari, which can only be bad news for poor Lev's hopes (I'm assuming he still has them at this point). Keo and the others are still at large. And Tremayne seems to have a new opening towards advancing his career and further eroding the remnants of the Order.
There were a couple other things that caught my eye; Tully's comment about Traxis was a riot - you bet they'd hit it off! And the other was Corliss's secret message - I like how you had her encode it through the imperial database, but I wonder why Lev didn't notice it... he seems like the geek in the group, and you'd think he'd at least wonder what she was typing. I'm wondering if perhaps he *did* notice, and maybe later (after the group has split up), he might poke around and realize what Lissy was up to... hmm...
All in all, this was one of the more open endings I've seen in your stories so far - on the one hand it's a little frustrating, since there's so little real closure, other than that everybody survived (which I probably shouldn't take for granted I know :P). On the other, this story very much belongs to a greater tale, and you've definitely left much room for anticipation, albeit mostly of the ominous sort. This is not a standalone fic by any means, and you didn't try to hide that fact. To me, this seems like a bold move, but one that I think pays off... or at least it will when the sequel is up! ;)
Congratulations on completing this fantastic story, and on creating the beginnings of another epic trilogy. I've enjoyed every bit of it, and I'm looking forward to what comes next. :)
| spikala 10/12/12 . chapter 26
Great chapter, everything was resolved and tied off nicely, but in such a way that the sequel sounds fantastic.
Drake is so lovely. He cares about Zara enough to let her go her own way, but still lets her know he’ll back her 100%. *sigh* Lucky girl.
It was great to hear from Traxis, intriguing hint that the rest of our junior clones are up to mischief too. I did think he would’ve been more relieved & angry with our gang though. After all they haven’t been in contact for a while now, and I can see the Mundali crew would be getting worried.
I really enjoyed the part from Corliss’ POV. It’s such fun seeing through the ‘bad guys’ eyes, I always enjoy those parts.
Glad to see that Jo found the Great Holocron. I have to say though, I’m not so much curious about the Holocron anymore as about the characters themselves. Will Jo find Atreus? Will Zara see through Corliss’ duplicity? Will Tully start to heal? Does Levy get a happy ending? Will Tremayne triumph in the power struggle against Umani? Does Shadow Tor have a chance with Corliss? Will our band of heroes make it back home? Really well done in bringing all these characters to life, I’m emotionally invested in them and want to find out what happens. I’ll be eagerly awaiting part 2 of the trilogy.
As for a preview, imho, leave it until maybe a few weeks before Dark Mirror is ready. Can I request Levy gets a bit more screentime? He seems to be pushed to the side a bit, and I do miss the interplay between him and Zar & him and Drake.
Thank you very much for putting this story out there and to SerendipityAEY for helping push things along. I’ve really enjoyed the story.
| Queen 10/9/12 . chapter 25
*happy sigh* Finally I can get to this! Sorry for the delay.
I love how Jo uses her karanas to calm herself, to focus, and shifts between the different forms as she tries, with increasing difficulty, to center herself after experiencing something of Humbarine. Seeing her reflections of planting the kina flowers was lovely - it really is such a symbol of life regenerating, continuing on, even after so much destruction. Her karanas also seem to parallel that continuing on, a constant flow and dance, increasingly complex.
And seeing that moment where Atreus confesses! Squee! So very sweet. So simply done, too, just those lines about 'not being friends' but after a moment like they just shared, it couldn't be a rejection of her. Just lovely.
And then there's Tully, being Tully. XD Seriously, if he didn't seem like a brother before, that funny combination of care and goofiness sure did it.
Just love the descriptions of the Maelibus song! How it seems to fill everything - and that's quite a creature, as well - makes me think of something very old, out of some ancient myth, a creature with a human face, like a sphinx or a manticore, but with an animal body - there's something of a dragon about it, too. And that's a very interesting - almost prophecy? regarding Zara. You've been hinting at some very interesting things in her future, with the Dark Side, etc. and now this, about not finding what she seeks. Very interesting...
Drake to the rescue! I do love how aware he is of her, and how she's just barely able to make out the sound of his voice, even though it's not quite enough to break the spell the first time through.
And only one more chapter...? That's a lot of resolution for one chapter...definitely looking forward to the final part!
| LongLiveTheClones 10/7/12 . chapter 25
Can't believe there is only one more chapter! I never want this story to end!
The flashback was just lovely:
Again, the almost-smile, and he shook his head. "You're not my friend, Johari. Not anymore."
But, poor Jo. To remember what she lost must be so terribly painful right now.
Conviction, yes, but there was also a question laced within the statement. Oddly enough, her anxiety from before was fading, and the trembling had left her hands. A light ripple of laughter escaped her when she realized her reply. "I love you, too. Perhaps about as long."
Such a lovely romantic scene.
Jo and Tully are just adorable together:
"Jo? Come in Jo..." Beside her, Tully gave a quiet chuckle. "I will throw something at you. My aim might not be what it once was, but I'll bet I can at least get your attention."
This was very touching. At some point, I'd still like to "see" that whole scene of what happened on that fateful day.
His voice darkened further, still. "I'll never forget her last sound, as long as I live. I'll never forget that her last word was my name, shouted in fear and pain as that...that..."
There was something so incredibly touching about these lines in which Tully suddenly seemed so young and vulnerable:
Although he was quite possibly the most skilled warrior she'd ever encountered – outside of her homeworld of Eshan, of course – in that moment Tully seemed so young, and irrevocably lost. She couldn't see his eyes, but his almost plaintive tone, the carriage of his body and agitation of his right knee as it bounced in place, they were all indicative of his turmoil.
I thought this was a great line, too, when they were discussing going to find Atreus:
Tully nodded, though the agitation in his demeanor did not change. Finally he glanced her way again. "You know that's probably not going to end well, vod'ika."
Love the boneyard descriptions. I could just see that as somehow so cinematic with the ship going in and out of those massive bones. Just such great visuals and so perfect for the Star Wars universe. Reminded me of the giant space creature in Empire Strikes Back that almost "eats" the Millenium Falcon. Perfect for the other-wordly strangeness that you sometimes get in a galaxy far far away.
I thought it was great that Drake gets to be the one that saves Zara from the Maelibus. Nice way for the two of them to reconnect again, and for Drake to come in and play the hero.
This time, however, Drake was ready for her, catching her in his arms and clutching her to his chest, not allowing her to fall.
So, did they truly accomplish anything, then, with all that? They didn't find the holocron and the Maelibus seemed to mess with Zara's head?
| DoubleEO 10/6/12 . chapter 25
Wow, time really does fly. Awww, Drake is cute. :)
| sachariah 10/5/12 . chapter 25
Only one more chapter?! Seriously?
This was really amazing... of course it's the last scenes that are in my head at the moment, but I'll try to back up...
The flashback to Johari and Atreus was really well placed - it's clear how strongly she still feels for him, and how difficult it must be for her to even considering "moving on" when she doesn't know what has become of him. I'm still in awe at how you developed the Echani style of martial arts, and it was just a fantastic moment when Atreus brought her out of her near-panic; and of course the forgotten "I love you" moment, which while it didn't surprise me - like Tully, I felt it was pretty obvious! - that fact that this has been brought back to Jo's memory guarantees she'll be driven to almost any lengths to find him again.
(Aside: liked Atreus's comment about his people not being able to cry - not sure I ever considered that before).
Tully's section was just... man. I'm not sure I could feel worse for him than I already do, but hearing him recall Miriam's death... just awful. I don't really see how he'll ever get past this, and I'm not sure he will, but I'm hoping anyway. Poor guy. :(
Zara definitely feels unsettled and a bit lost, throughout this chapter. Her issues with Drake, Corliss and I imagine her brush with the Dark side have left her vulnerable, and I suspect this plays into how easily she was lured by the Maelibus.
Speaking of which... wow. That scene was riveting! The description of that creature was "terrible and wonderful"; even though in my mind I was fuly aware he was up to no good, it was easy to see how one would be entranced and even hypnotized by the appearence of the monster, combined with the constant presence of their "song." I know what you mean by being unable to find an analogous phenoma in our galaxy, but I was effortlessly drawn into the descriptions - it made perfect *sense*, despite the alien nature of it all.
I'm rather flummoxed by the Maelibus's "dialogue" with Zara - it almost seems he's trying to facilitate her turning to the dark side... but why in the blazes would an alien hunter care about that? Is this creature collaborating with Tremayne or something? Was Corliss involved? Even if these things are sentient or Force sensitive to some degree, why would he bother to taunt/tempt Zar? Fascinating...
Well, good to see Drake and the others come to the rescue. Honestly I don't see how you're going to wrap things up in one more chapter - granted we know there's a sequel, but still... you've got a lot on your plate here. Which is good thing! :)
Can't wait for more!
| spikala 10/5/12 . chapter 25
“Enough stalling, then?” – Awww! I’m such a sucker for a good romantic line and you seem to have a veritable arsenal of them tucked away in your various stories :)
Poor Tully. He’s so stalwart and wonderfully blunt that sometimes I forget he’s got his own pain to deal with. It must’ve been rough having to deal with all the memories of lost love and old friends on your own. I couldn’t help wondering at Tully’s agitation and his oblique warning though – does he know what happened to Atreus? Questions, questions.
The description of Iego and the boneyards was great. I got a real sense of chilling desolation and abandonment that this world has.
The Maelibus though… very cool scene.
I really enjoyed reading this chapter. I do hope that Drake and Jo get their happy endings. As for Corliss and Zar, I think I swing to and fro with each chapter, wondering if Zar will go dark, if Corliss is really acting or if she relents. I have a funny feeling I may have to wait for the sequel though :)
Thanks for another great update!
| Guest 10/2/12 . chapter 24
Great job with the story. Poor Drake. I feel bad for him. :P
| sachariah 9/28/12 . chapter 24
Uh, Zara, we've seen this movie before... :P
Very disturbing to see her wrestling with these feelings, although I suppose as long as she's actually wrestling with them she's not a lost cause. I *love* that you describe how *easy* it was to access this new power - I've always felt that that is a key part of what makes the Dark side so formidable, and so tempting: it's not really an external force at all (though its often coaxed by putside agents) but rather a part of oneself, always accessible and offering an easy means of empowerment. In the end, the cost is high, but then, most evils have this in common: no money down, and instant benefits.
Which is exactly what Zara is facing now. Tapping into her own "dark side" offers instant gratification, and a quick path to power; power that - she could tell herself - might be used for good. But evil is a corrosive force, and even the best of intentions can be eroded all too quickly.
Corliss is clearly taking full advantage of Zara's vulnerability. Johari at least took note that she was being toyed with - her sudden and inexplicable rush of "empathy" for Lissy, most notably - but Zar seems to be falling for the whole act. After this brush with Tremayne, it's obvious that Zar is more motivated than ever to help her friend recover and reform herself, which plays right into Corliss's hand. In fact, seeing that she did seem to notice Zara's bruh with the DS earlier, I think Lissy is actualy hoping to further anger her former friend against Tremayne, to more fully compromise Zara's own standing.
Getting ahead of myself...
The tension in the aftermath is awesome - obviously the question of how to treat Corliss has become infinitely more complicated, and it's not hard to see how Tully, Drake and Jo might appear close minded or perhaps vindictive towards their prisoner/rescuer. Loved how Johari described her observations of Tremayne and Corliss's fighting patterns - little touches like this are great for the plot but also further deepen the culture of the Echani.
Hmm... I'm ahead of myself again. That's what I get for reading the whole chapter first, and reviewing later. :P Most of my earlier comments actually apply to Zara and Corliss's cabin chat, but I will make one more note: even though its clear to me that Zara is being manipulated and played - and I'm a bit mad at her for not listening to the warnings of the others - I have some hope that, even so, Zara's genuine care and desire to help Corliss will have a net positive effect on the older girl. Maybe I'm just an optimist, but I don't think that someone - other than a total psychopath a la Palpatine - can truly shrug off that sort of loyalty and care. Personally I feel that Vader's ultimate turn - back to the "light" - was precipitated not merely by his desire not to see his son killed, but because Luke genuinely cared about - and even loved - his father. Luke saw good in the most unlikely of candidates, and while it *was* probably naive of him to think he could sway a villain of Vader's caliber, ultimately Luke's love for his father won the day. I like to think that Zara's (friendship) love for Corliss might do the same, in the end.
Wow... these Maelibi are freaky! Fascinating how you described the hypnotic nature of their "song"... wow, I'm really impressed (also liked the little insight into the Ranger curriculum! :P). Loved Tully's salty POV of course, tempered by his recollections of Atreus.
*Thank the Force he'd never been like that at Drake's age.*
Sigh.. saw the Drake/Zar conflict coming. I was impressed that he took the time to meditate before approaching her - a very wise young man, really (loved the callback to Stonewall!). Honestly I don't know what Drake could do differently - I'm afraid the only thing that will change Zara's mind will be something going terribly wrong. And I suspect Drake's sense of foreboding is all too timely.
Awesome chapter! :)
| spikala 9/28/12 . chapter 24
The plot is thickening... and with two chapters to go! Arghhh!
It's great to find the last piece of the puzzle though, and to know that the others on the ship aren't so oblivious to Corliss' treachery as Zara is.
Drake is very cute. He's a bit of a sucker for punishment though, Zara keeps knocking him back and he just keeps coming back for me. Fingers Xd Zara gets her act together.
| Queen 9/28/12 . chapter 24
I'm getting increasingly concerned about Zara and the Dark Side issues she's having; Atreus' vision of the future was concerning enough, and now it looks like it may actually come true. Prophecies though rarely happen in the way you'd expect (oh look, the Chosen One brought balance to the Force...after spending 20 years as a Sith. Oops.) so I'm hoping the issue becomes more one of context rather than Zara actually going evil. The fact she's aware of her use of the Dark Side bodes somewhat better - if she was insistent that she'd done nothing wrong or oblivious to the issue, she wouldn't be able to combat it. Still, it doesn't look good.
Zara's belief in Corliss is also interesting to see play out - and it reflects oddly on her own situation as well. Though Zara hasn't gone dark, she needs to believe that Corliss can come back - especially if she herself is feeling influenced by it.
Do love Tully - he so just cuts through the crap and gets to the point. Shouldn't Corliss be cuffed? Yes, probably. His observation that a couple of good deeds not making up for years of bad ones is spot on and very true. The conversation that follows, between Zara and Drake in particular, really shows how complicated the situation with Corliss has become - they both have such valid points regarding her behavior and the ability to change for the better.
The description of Prakith was also very interesting - seeing how the Empire might win the favor of the people. It makes sense as well, that not everything the Empire did was entirely dark, all the time - it took many years for people to realize how bad things were. There had to be cases, like this one, of the Empire taking steps to win people over. Those stormtroopers have to come from somewhere, willingly.
And the last scene with Zara and Drake...whoa. So much tension there. Corliss is really driving a wedge between them. I do hope that bracelet comes in handy, especially at the worst moment, when it comes.
Only two more? Looking forward to the epic conclusion then. :)
| sachariah 9/25/12 . chapter 23
Good to see Drake and Lev share a little bonding time; I think Drake needs someone - other than Zara - to talk to, and hopefully Lev gets a much-needed boost of confidence by being to able to support his brother. I really admire Lev - that guy is just so dutiful and loyal, even though he has plenty of cause to be jealous or depressed over his lot.
Also, the techy starship details in this section: utter awesomeness! :)
*"I know it hasn't been enough, before. Why should now be any different?"*
Well, I feel bad for Drake, but one the other hand I think we're seeing a bit of teenage moodiness here - Zara's desire to restore her friend hardly means she's rejecting Drake. I won't fault the guy, though - actually it feels very "real" that he would go through swings in his feelings like this, given how new their relationship is. At any rate, I trust Drake will come out of it... hopefully not with a big "told you so" moment after it's all said and done. :P
And besides, he's got Lev. *I've got your six.* Love the line, and the sentiment is so powerful here.
The arrival of the Imps was very well executed - loved how the two boys go into soldier mode and have their respective roles assigned so promptly; subtle reminder that these guys were born soldiers, if there ever were any. Also loved the arm clasp between the two brothers - again, perfect for tying these young'uns back to the clone troopers we all know and love.
Tremayne's landing sequence was really "cool", if I could put it that way - the terrain of Eol Sha is ominous in it's own right, and with the back and forth between him an Priam and the stomries... just very cool, in a villainous sort of way (reminded me of some of the Imperial pre-battle scenes in the OT). Also found it very fitting that Tremayne is using his manipulative qualities to "win" the full support of Priam - very interesting to see the relationship between these two evolve.
Corliss's reaction to Tremayne's arrival was fascinating, to say the least. She seems well and truly torn by her own feelings, but there's definitely a part of her that's still loyal to her Imperial Master. At the same time, at least for now, it seems she's unable to bring herself to actually turn on her former friend. That said... I did note that Corliss takes keen notice of Zara's perilous emotional state; I'm starting to think she's hoping to turn Zar to the dark side - or at least help the process along - rather than simply backstabbing her. Ambitious, for certain, though I wonder whether Tremayne will recognize her efforts for what they - apparently - are.
The duel at the end was thrilling - the imagery of the multiple lightsabers, Johari's swordplay, and the steam and volcanic activity of the planet made for a scene reminiscent of Mustafar in ROTS. I do wonder what Johari's reaction will be since she's recognized Corliss's hesitance to strike down their opponent. The battle ended very suddenly, and I didn't notice any mention of Corliss on the ship... was she left behind? Hmm...
Fantastic chapter as always - can't wait for more!