The Children of Cascade

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Sentinel Fanfiction
Title: The Children of Cascade
Author(s): Mab Browne
Date(s): 2007
Length:
Genre: slash
Fandom: The Sentinel
External Links: The Children of Cascade on AO3

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The Children of Cascade is a Jim/Blair story by Mab Browne.

Series

Reactions and Reviews

Mab, as usual, creates an imaginative universe. One where both sentinels and guides had become lab rats -- experimented upon cruelly. They escape to the planet of Cascade and institute a form of extreme isolationism. Enter Naomi Sandburg, a free spirit who visits the planet long enough to get pregnant by a Guide before leaving. But the people of Cascade refuse to allow any of their children to fall into the hands of outsiders and plot how to "save" her son.

This is an exciting story and interesting in its views on civil rights. Is the population protecting its Native Son, or is it guilty of inflicting the same cruelty that was practiced on them so many years before? There's intrigue and double-crosses and a chance at true love all wrapped up in a long, satisfying tale.

Another good story from Mab that made it to the LMFA ballot for this year. Enjoy! [1]
Mab's new sci-fi AU, The Children of Cascade, is just fantastic. A twisty-turny plot, excellent characterisations, and exceptionally well-written. It also has bucketloads of angst, which makes me very happy indeed. Shallow, moi? ::looks innocent::

Here is Mab's own summary: Twenty-six years ago a pregnant young woman escaped the reclusive and secretive planet of Cascade. It's taken a long time, but Cascade has found its lost child, and sends Agent Protector James Ellison to bring him home. The Child's name? Blair Sandburg.

A nice, long, engrossing read - definitely a keeper.[2]
Sci-fi AU. Blair is abducted from his homeworld by Jim and doesn't take it well. He's even less thrilled when he finds out he's being used as a political ploy by the government of Cascade and is never going to be allowed to leave, since his father is from that planet. Unfortunately for him, that's not even the worst of it. The Children of Cascade has been recced to me several times and I'll agree that it is a well-written, interesting story set in a detailed, intriguing AU. So why am I not reccing it? Honestly, it's because political intrigues don't interest me that much and, well, frankly I don't think Blair did nearly enough to escape his confinement. Which might not have been a problem, except that two-thirds of the story is the political intrigue and non-escaping of confinement and half of the remainder is actually a frame story involving OC's that I never developed any interest in. Short version: if you like stories of political mechanations and/or prisoner!fic, you'll probably like this one. It just wasn't my cup of tea.[3]
I have also read this story several times, and, while I enjoyed it, I must agree with you.

I felt as if someone had cut out a big chunk of the story! Where was Blair's righteous anger and indignation? Yes, they had a good reason for their actions, but that doesn't make it right! Because of something he had no control over (his genes), he was ripped from the life that he had planned and worked for, and no one saw anything wrong with that or even apologized. Basically, he became a political prisoner because of his genes. In fact, Cascade considered him to be nothing more then property, when you get right down to it: you retrieve missing cattle, not other free humans!

We can sympathize with Cascade's motives, but that doesn't make them right, and I was expecting more outrage and activism on Blair's part - political protest, contacting off-world friends or a lawyer, demanding his rights a citizen of another planet, etc. Not to mention more attempts to flee or escape and to control his own life. Instead, he becomes a good little prisoner. Uggh! [4]
Plus, I just can't see Blair passively accepting confinement. Seriously, the man may get kidnapped in every other episode of canon, but he always fights to get free (even if he is spectacularly bad at escaping). And it's not like I need him to actually escape, but he really should have made at least a few attempts. Ah, well. No story is perfect:) [5]
Finally someone who feels the same as I do! I spent the entire story without an outlet for my righteous anger because Blair was acting so complacent. And Jim wasn't doing squat! Built up all this tension and anger but nothing came of it. Well-written and interesting, but missing a good Blair-flips-off-his-kidnappers ending.[6]
Blair was particularly laid back at the end, wasn't he? He probably figured that shaking up Cascade society was enough of a response, but I wanted something a little more, well, satisfying. Like a press conference where he pointed out he was abducted against his will, kept captive for months, and then nearly murdered. Apparently I'm not nearly as forgiving as he is...[7]
Summary: In the far past, sentinels and guides were kept in laboratories and experimented on horribly. They eventually escaped their captors. Afraid that the general population would always be a danger, they made an exodus to Cascade, a distant planet off the beaten path. They discourage interaction with the outside world and have strict rules for self-protection. They also ensure that the outsiders will never again enslave a sentinel or guide, primarily by controlling their DNA.

However, Naomi, who stirs the pot in any universe, met a Cascadian guide and became pregnant by him. She fled the planet to raise her son, Blair, on her own terms. She doesn't tell him anything about his father or his heritage. Imagine Blair's surprise when he's wooed and then kidnapped by Agent Protector James Ellison, whose orders are to bring Blair to Cascade, to be welcomed back by his people.

Reccer's Notes: Now, you might expect with this lengthy summary that you've got the gist of the story, but this is really just the jumping off point. "Sentinels and Guides are known" is a popular trope in the TS fandom, but this one is quite a bit different. Mab's done a crackerjack job of creating not only the planet and its people, but the society, its ancient and modern history, its mythology and logical reasons for why people behave as they do. And, yes, she does address the bonding issue.

The first and main story was written for a Moonridge charity auction. The others are, in effect, missing scenes to the main story, rather than sequels. I've recommended other of Mab's AUs because she does such a fine job making each universe complete and believable. Enjoy.[8]

References

  1. a rec at TS Fresh Air
  2. comment by Fluterbev at Story Rec: The Children of Cascade, September 1, 2007
  3. Epic Rants, September 2008, Jane Elliot
  4. Epic Rants, September 2008, bookworm 2005
  5. Epic Rants, September 2008, Jane Elliot
  6. Epic Rants, September 2008, nemo nunca
  7. Epic Rants, September 2008, Jane Elliot
  8. rec at Fancake, August 27, 2014