Portrait of a Character – José Torres
I needed a character who would be a bit of a galoot. He would be super-tall, almost seven feet. He would be balding at an early age. In short, he would not be one of the super-beautiful people we often see on television, and not just on Star Trek. Enter José Torres.
Although he isn’t tall enough, I like the idea of Ian Gomez for this role.
I wanted someone who would not be traditionally good-looking. Oftentimes, it seems that star ships (and fanfiction stories) are larded up with an enormous number of ultra-beautiful people. Well, real life just isn’t like that. And I think that Star Trek does a bit of a disservice to its fan base (although they do try to, when appropriate, include people with different abilities). The future is not going to be chock full of 100% gorgeous folks! Someone is going to look different.
A little clumsy, but with a big heart, I wanted José to, at times, be the nice guy who finishes last. But not always, for women who peer beyond looks will see him for what he is – a kind, thoughtful and gentle soul. As an engineer, he is also an inventor and an improviser. In the E2 stories, he creates an ultrasound machine for Doctor Phlox, making it possible to tell fetal gender without having to subject women in high-risk pregnancies – such as Lili O’Day and Meredith Porter Ryan – to amniocentesis needles.
It’s really not fair to call this hookup a relationship. Instead, after the wedding in Together, he notices Pamela and makes his move. It’s entirely possible that, in the prime timeline, he loses his virginity to her. I haven’t decided yet.
At the end of Fortune, he asks Hoshi out, to Movie Night (Casablanca is playing). It’s unclear whether it goes very far. Rather, the purpose of the acceptance of the date is for Tripp Tucker to overhear it.
In the third E2 story, he marries the youngest of the Ikaaran women. It is unclear what her function is on Ebrona’s ship or what the marriage is like, but her premature death is heartbreaking to José.
In Together, Lili first reveals that, during the canon E2 episode, they wed and had a daughter, Maria Elena, named after Lili’s mother, Marie Helêne Ducasse O’Day. The savvy reader should wonder – why wasn’t Lili with Malcolm or Jay?
But there are reasons for that. And so she takes up with José, who she doesn’t treat, initially, as fairly as she should. In her own defense, though, it should be noted that Lili is bereft and is dealing with an enormous number of changes in her life. But José, while he isn’t flashy, is a rock for her. And while she is settling, he feels that he is not.
In the prime timeline, at the end of Fortune, he asks her out. He also asks her out during the third E2 book, but loses out to Sekar Khan.
José in the mirror universe is a very different animal – and animal is a good word to describe him. In Temper, Empress Hoshi reveals that, in the initial alternate timeline, he was the leader of the first wave of the invasion from the mirror universe into ours. As a result, she rewards him handsomely. First, he is promoted to Ensign. Then, she gives him three playmates – the mirror versions of Karin Bernstein, Blair Claymore, and Pamela Hudson.
By the time the Doug and Lili mission begins, José has gotten a bit tired of his three trained seals and is looking for younger women. But Karin, Blair, and Pamela are still on rather tight leashes. With his death (due to the Empress’s arrogance and his own incompetence), they are freed.
In the second alternate timeline, and then in the prime timeline, he is unsuccessful in his efforts and, as a result, the three women are never bonded to him.
“Are you, um, going to Movie Night? Chip is showing Casablanca. It’s supposed to be really good.”
Most of the engineers I have known has not been like Tripp Tucker. They’ve been like José. Shy, quiet and inventive. Nothing flashy, but very solid and dependable.