Author’s Commentary: The Better Part of Valor

I realize it might seem strange to do a flashback story so early on in the series, but I felt like it was important to show how Leone and Ariel were before they got to Farragut.  Which is to say, not a whole lot different, but I think this episode shows Leone in a different capacity than captain.  Her long service with T’Cirya obvious in how they seem to anticipate each other.  Several times during the episode, all T’Cirya had to say was a simple, “Commander,” and Leone executed.  My intent with those scenes was to show how in tune a command team can get aboard a starship.  It was never disrespectful and never perceived by either one to be stepping over the line as some command teams I’ve read or seen.  Also by contrast, Leone and Kincaid are just barely on their way to becoming as dynamic a duo as T’Cirya and Leone.  Of course, there’s the chance that they may never achieve that level.

Ariel is still Ariel, for the most part.  Her relationship with Dawkins is as much an outlet for her as it is turning serious for him.  She’s taking out her sexual frustration on Dawkins, because she can’t have Leone, who she really wants.  But we now see that this relationship is years-old given her reactions to Leone in the ‘modern day’ Full Speed Ahead episodes.  Their friendship is also long-lived, having served together on Potemkin for a year, and before that, on Victory.  Maybe she’s a bit more immature than her older counterpart, allowing her mouth to run off and suffering under the rebuke of Leone when she steps over the line.  For her character to experience such a harsh rebuke from the woman that she loves so deeply, resulted in a call to Dawkins in order to work out her frustration once more.

Writing T’Cirya was fun, though.  I often find Vulcans very difficult to write with their inner monologue, but given the fact that I always feel they have a deeply-rooted sense of humor that has no outward appearance, I could get away with a witty remark or thought; something wry without it being delivered as such in order to give T’Cirya more of a believable personality that would instill a sense of loyalty from Ariel and Leone to carry on into Full Speed Ahead, which I hope was demonstrated in “Milk Run.”  I would really like to write a Victory story sometime with Commander T’Cirya and Leone and Ariel as Lieutenants.  If I get a chance to do that, I will. 🙂

The story ends in a question, but I won’t complete it until much later in the series.  It’s not critical to telling the saga of Farragut‘s crew.

Originally written at the United Trek Forums.