Progress Report – October 2012

Progress Report – October 2012

Posted Works

Progress Report – October 2012
Quill

It was another highly productive month. The Mirror Universe contextual collection, Hall of Mirrors, saw the following additions – The High Cost of Dissidence, Paving Stones Made from Good Intentions, First Born, Reversal, Brown, Coveted Commodity, Temper and Fortune. I also answered a prompt about rituals with the Times of the HG Wells prequel, Candy. I spun out Shake Your Body, the penultimate HG Wells book. I responded to the “hold on” prompt with Souvenirs, an HG Wells story taking place right after Spring Thaw. I added Detroit Rock City and A Single Step to In Between Days context. In response to the Burdens of Command challenge, I wrote Day of the Dead, to be posted on Halloween itself.

I had not added anything whatsoever to The Delphic Expanse in a long time, so I decided to float a drabble about Tripp and T’Pol and her pregnancy with Lorian, so I answered a year-old prompt for the word “free”, and wrote Free.

I also had not contributed anything to Trek United in months, so I added Voracious and Harvest.

Progress Report – October 2012

On Fanfiction.net, I added The High Cost of DissidenceOnions, Penicillin, Letters from Home, First Born, Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses, Detroit Rock City and Concord. Concord and Letters from Home got particularly good receptions, so I decided to see if I can post there every Monday and Thursday (I had been posting only on Mondays), schedule permitting.

On Star Trek Logs, because there was a Vulcan/Romulan week, I added Achieving Peace. I also spun out Concord there, as that story had gotten raves on Fanfiction.net. It was also well-received there.
I added stories to the Arch Angels board, where they created an official fan fiction forum, Alien Encounter and The Black Widow. These were both added because of Halloween. Then I added A Single Step, and started a challenge there, called A Thousand Words. My response was an In Between Days extreme prequel story called Detroit Rock City.
For the Trek BBS Nightmares challenge, I added a Wesley Crusher story, Imprecision.

Milestones

On October 15th, Reversal on Ad Astra rang up 10,000 views, the most I have ever had on any given story. That story has been out there since August of 2011, which is part of the reason for the high numbers. I am particularly pleased that there are over 260 views for each chapter, telling me that a lot of people hung in with it until the end.

For overall totals (e. g. adding up view totals for everywhere a story has been posted online, Reversal is still the big winner, with over 15,000 views. Next highest is Together with over 12,000 views and then Intolerance with over 8,000 overall views. These are all understandable, as they were all originally written back in 2010. More interesting is that Take Back the Night has an overall total approaching 4,000 views, and that story is only from late 2011 and is only on Ad Astra.

WIP Corner

I continued working on the E2 stories when I could. My plan is to begin spinning them out in January, so I am trying to get a full draft of the fourth story done before then.

Prep Work

I created an HTML version of He Stays a Stranger, in anticipation of spinning it out in November. I created a somewhat bowdlerized version of Fortune for eventual posting on Fanfiction.net.

This Month’s Productivity Killers

I worked on the Trek United Adult Trek Anthology. I also attended five job interviews – more than I had for several months, combined. A lot of the distribution of work is being done in anticipation of going back to work soon. Furthermore, I continued working on the Adult Anthology, and made a great deal of progress with it.

Portrait of a Character – William Slocum

Portrait of a Character – William Slocum

Origins

Portrait of a Character – William Slocum

The character is canon, but rarely seen until the abysmal finale to ENT. He is seen extremely briefly in an episode called The Catwalk and that’s about it, although he’s mentioned a few times. The character has neither a first nor a last name in canon. I selected William Slocum as the first name is homage to Jonathan Frakes‘s Will Riker character (in a much older story, If You Can’t Stand the Heat, the character is named Paul Miller, and he has a nascent romance with another abandoned character, Botanist Naomi Curtis). The surname was just one that I liked.

 

Portrayal

As in canon, Chef is played by Jonathan Frakes.

Personality

Portrait of a Character – William Slocum
Chef Slocum (Jonathan Frakes)

While I despised TATV (like any good ENT fan, I suppose), I did like the idea of Frakes as Chef. Or, at least, of someone like him. I had always figured that the Chef character would be an older man and, up until the series finale, I had thought of Chef Emeril Lagasse in that role.

In Voracious, he recruits Lili O’Day to come to the NX-01 and work in Food Service. They share some New York style cheesecake which she provides as a professional courtesy. They banter together fairly well, and the feeling should be collegial. In Harvest, he introduces her to the senior staff, including Hoshi Sato, Jay Hayes (it’s also his first day) and Malcolm Reed.

Protocols shows him as being a bit passive-aggressive in his dealings with Lili. And in The Mess, he scolds her a bit when she tries to discard the cast iron skillet, until he figures out why it’s dirty. By the time of Onions, though, Will has shown that he can sometimes be truly insensitive.

Portrait of a Character – William Slocum
Will kicked back in time (Jonathan Frakes)

In the first three E2 stories (the first of two kicks back in time), Will is somewhat arrogant and pushy. He makes a play for Lili and she rejects him. He is stunned by this and tells her that no one will love her (he’s wrong, of course). He ends up with Patti Socorro, the only other unclaimed woman, but he’s dissatisfied. By the time of the fourth E2 story, he’s looking for an upgrade. But he remains arrogant, and suffers a terrible end which particularly shocks Lili and, to a lesser extent, Patti.

 

Relationships

Patti Socorro

This is not really a love match despite Will’s best efforts. But Will’s best isn’t much. He simply does not want to try too hard. They never have children, and the Will of the second kick back in time never marries so, for him, both instances of E2 are reproductive dead ends.

Quote

“Now you wait just a cotton-pickin’ minute! For the most part, you’ve done nothing but act like a spoiled brat! It makes me wonder how or why they even bothered to take you in the MACOs!”

Upshot

Perhaps it’s residual resentment about TATV, but I suppose I’ve given this character more than his fair share of bad times and poor decisions.

Review – A Kind of Blue

Review – A Kind of Blue

Background

In Reversal, I establish that Lili in blue Lili O’Day‘s favorite color is blue. Reversal also, happily, ends up with Doug and Lili more or less riding off into the sunset.

At least, that was the original idea.

But then came the fanfiction prequels and the sequels.

Bridge Stories and Prequels

Reversal is a prequel to A Kind of Blue, but so is Local Flavor, which begins Doug and Lili’s life on Lafa II and begins to establish some of the background. That is, they are new on Lafa II, their only friends are Treve and his family, and they barely have two nickels to rub together. All of this is played out against the backdrop of being the only humans in the entire Lafa System. Plus the Calafans all seem to be on the make.

Plot

Review – A Kind of Blue
Positive Pregnancy Test

This story was written in response to a challenge to write a happy story, so I went with the color as an indicator of sadness but, also, of far different things. For Lili, the first indicator is this one – and it works with the stories as one of the bits of information from Reversal is that Doug is powerful enough that he’s probably going to be able to get by her birth control.

What has also been established is that she’d need to have surgery, and have the operation known as The O’Day Reversal put back in order to be able to successfully carry a fetus to term. With Lili pregnant (and experiencing wicked morning sickness), the first stop is Doctor Miva‘s office, but before they can go anywhere, Doug drops the stick on the floor of their apartment. He suddenly realizes he’s on bended knee, so he proposes.

The remainder of the story is the surgery and then their wedding, which includes Calafan wedding vows and surprise rings purchased by Doug.

Rating

The story is rated K.

Sequels

Review – A Kind of Blue
Pregnant Naomi Watts as Lili

With a wedding and a baby come other responsibilities. But there’s still time to visit friends in Friday Visit, and Pacing and The Gift both advance the Becketts’ lives together even more.

In addition, the new restaurant, Reversal, opens up. Lili and Doug can barely look up, and there is no time to do renovations and put in a bigger and more modern stove until the couple depart for a vacation to Oberon for Jenny and Frank‘s wedding, which Lili will cater (Together).

Story Postings

Upshot

The color blue does not have to mean sadness. And in this case, that’s the last thing from anyone’s mind.

Portrait of a Character – Esilia

Portrait of a Character – Esilia

Putting a face on a woman who never got one.

Origins

Karyn Archer
Karyn Archer

We have absolutely nothing on Esilia in Star Trek: Enterprise canon, save that she was Ikaaran and married Jonathan Archer. Their only known descendant in the canon E2 episode is Karyn Archer. Hence Esilia and Jonathan had at least one son together. After that, there’s nothing.

There are no log entries, no pictures, no voice recordings, no lore. There are no images of full-blooded Ikaarans anywhere. It’s possible that Karyn’s notched nose comes from some other ancestry. It is canon that other species were taken aboard in order to help assure that generational ship‘s survival.

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – Esilia

Because Karyn is dark, I figured Esilia might be dark as well. Karyn has Asian features, but those might come from Hoshi Sato or Daniel Chang being in her ancestry. But I wanted her to be somewhat darker for another reason, and so I hit upon the idea of Courteney Cox. Cox is a beautiful woman, to be sure, but she is also good at playing neurotic.

For me, Ikaarans have a damned good reason to be neurotic – they don’t live for very long. But Esilia gets a very different chance, and that’s really only because I decided on two kick backs in time instead of just one. Esilia is a part of the second kicking back. Hence the If I Had to Do It All Over Again ficlet, while it refers to Esilia, is actually a misnomer. That ficlet really belongs to Esilia’s predecessor from the first kick back in time, Ebrona.

Personality

Where Ebrona (also played by Cox) is somewhat cautious, Esilia only starts out that way. This has to do quite a bit with Phlox‘s medical abilities. In the fourth of my four E2 stories, he manages to cure the genetic time bomb ticking inside all Ikaarans, known as the decline. Given a reprieve on life, Esilia makes the most of that.

Relationships

Jonathan Archer

Portrait of a Character – Esilia
Esilia (Courteney Cox)

Esilia’s only known relationship is with the captain. Much like Ebrona, she is the First Officer on her vessel and, as such, is thrown together with Jonathan quite a bit. So much company creates a familiarity that makes falling in love a lot easier. For Ikaarans, the gift of a living thing (animal or plant) is the equivalent of a marriage proposal, so Jonathan gives her a living gift for that very reason.

With a new lease on life after the decline is cured, Esilia and Jonathan have a happy and fulfilling marriage.

Quote

“I accept your living gift, and all that it entails. I will love you until the decline takes me.”

Upshot

For a character with no background, no past and no more than the barest of sketches, I like to think that Esilia now has some depth.

Inspiration – Aging

The Mechanics of Creation and Destruction

For every one of us (except, perhaps, for canon characters like Q and Trelane), aging is inevitable. So why is it so hard to confront and accept sometimes?

Story Ideas

When I first started writing Reversal, Aged McCoy from the Deadly Years I was a bit upset at the prospect of aging. Of course, the alternative is far worse. Hence I decided to confront aging head on with certain elements of that story.

  1. The main aliens I created (Calafans) would exhibit signs of aging that would be the reverse of our own (a play on the story’s title). Hence they would start off bald and sprout hair, they would begin with heavy pigmentation on their extremities that would change to a pattern (somewhat like wrinkles or spider veins) and then to perfect clarity and they would also move from detailed dreams to, eventually, simpler ones.
  2. The heroine (Lili O’Day) would be the same age as me (I was 48 years old at the time). Hence she would show normal signs of aging – parentheses lines around her mouth, hair going white and a bit of sagging. But her age bespeaks of not only wisdom but also that she is a bit underestimated in the looks department, and by many people (e. g. Daniel Chang in Demotion, for one). She still gets her men, Doug Beckett, Malcolm Reed, Jay Hayes, Ian Reed and José Torres, depending upon which stories you read.
  3. The hero, Doug Hayes Beckett, would also be aging, so as to reflect the age of Steven Culp at the time the story was written (55). Doug is, in the Mirror, referred to as the old man, and the reference is a pejorative one.
  4. Beauty and youth would not necessarily be punished, but they wouldn’t necessarily be rewarded, either. Hence Aidan MacKenzie and Jennifer Crossman don’t fare so well in the mirror. Aidan, in particular, fares rather poorly, but he gets some redemption in Brown, Temper and, eventually, He Stays a Stranger.
  5. Richard Daniels in Temper would also be no spring chicken, and the same would be true of two of his love interests, Sheilagh Bernstein and Milena Chelenska. Kevin O’Connor would be over seventy, and Polly Porter would also be over sixty. Older people were absolutely, under no circumstances, to be discarded.

Stories with Aging Characters

Dealing with aging has crept into my writing. Here are some notable examples.

Fortune

Photo of an open fortune cookie
Photo of an open fortune cookie (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Fortune, Doug, Lili, Malcolm, Melissa Madden and Leonora Digiorno all, eventually, meet their ends. By showing a pivotal moment in later life, and then their last days, I hoped to give the reader some closure and some understanding of the direction in which each of these characters was going.

Biases

Biases is a story of an aging health care worker who ends up caring for an even more aged canon character. In this story, I wanted to touch upon the themes of losing control and compromising.

Equinox

The major characters in Equinox are coming to grips with a major life change. However, the peripheral characters are also dealing with doing whatever they can in order to change their lives. Most have gotten to an age where Starfleet service is more of a burden than a joy.

The Rite

Malcolm and Lili, in later life, prove in The Rite that just because there’s snow on the roof, it doesn’t mean there isn’t a fire in the furnace.

Escape

Escape pulls together older Mirror Universe stories and drags them into the future. The future is never good there, and aging is, inevitably, a sign of weakness. This story is taken up in The Point is Probably Moot.

The Medal

Back in our universe, Neil Digiorno-Madden copes with his own aging body by pushing his physical limits, in The Medal.

A Hazy Shade

Deeper into the future, Jonathan Archer and his wife pay homage to the honored dead from the NX-01, and A Hazy Shade reminds them that it is the winter of their lives as well.

Remembrance

Pamela Hudson‘s eulogy is delivered at Remembrance, reminding the reader that she is the last of the main characters in the In Between Days series to go.

The Point is Probably Moot

The Empress Hoshi Sato is first seen in later years in The Point is Probably Moot.

Shake Your Body

Shake Your Body continues the background theme of Empress Hoshi aging, and not too gracefully.

He Stays a Stranger

Malcolm Reed
Malcolm Reed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The specter of not only Empress Hoshi’s aging but also Richard Daniels being wiped from existence fuels He Stays a Stranger. Furthermore, Lili and Malcolm are shown dealing with a very particular side effect of aging.

Who Shall Wear the Robe and Crown?

When the Empress passes, the family is surprisingly calm, even as they ask, Who Shall Wear the Robe and Crown?

Crackerjack

Wesley Crusher’s aging, and his telling a story to his eager grandchildren, punctuates Crackerjack.

Upshot

It’s inevitable. Of course, with writing and with characters, they need never age. But I think that misses the point of creativity. Anyone can make a beautiful 24-year-old woman sail through life and get whatever she wants. I think the trick is when she’s 48 and isn’t so beautiful. For that is a much realer depiction of the human condition.

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Portrait of a Character – Benjamin Warren

Portrait of a Character – Benjamin Warren

Origins

For the Interphases Star Trek: Enterprise Concord story, I needed a wise servant, a former slave. This would be someone for Charlotte to bounce her ideas off. He was also a practical requirement, as she could not possibly run the farm herself. Hence Benjamin was born.

Portrayal

Benjamin is portrayed by Morgan Freeman. He brings, to me, the right mixture of seriousness, humor and intelligence. Benjamin is a former slave but he is no fool.

Personality

Beyond the fact that I enjoy this actor (in particular, his speaking voice), I also love the gravitas he seems to bring to every role.

Portrait of a Character – Benjamin Warren
Benjamin Warren

For Charlotte Hayes, he is her rock and her strength during the Revolutionary War, as her husband, Jacob, has gone off to fight. Without Benjamin – who is far closer to a cherished friend than a servant – the farm would fall apart in Jacob’s absence. She has no children to help her, so she is very reliant on Benjamin and his family.

Benjamin is a former slave but it’s unclear just how or why he was freed. The strong implication is that, when Jacob’s parents and sister died of scarlet fever, he may have been freed. Or perhaps he was freed when Charlotte and Jacob wed. Or the Hayes family weren’t slave owners at all, and he had been freed before his association with them. It’s unclear and it is not, as of the writing of this blog post, likely that the confusion will ever be fully cleared up.

Relationships

Benjamin is married to another servant, Dorcas. Dorcas is a name that is appropriate to the time period. A Dorcas Dunlap is buried in Chester, New Hampshire and her husband, Lieutenant James Dunlap, died in 1803.

Portrait of a Character – Benjamin Warren
Dorcas Dunlap’s grave

This is in keeping with the time period. There is no intention that Dorcas Warren be also Dorcas Dunlap (with, perhaps, a second husband). Rather, this is to illustrate the commonality of this old-style name.

Benjamin and Dorcas initially got together as they both survived the scarlet fever which took all of the Hayes family except for Jacob, who was away at Harvard at the time. Charlotte was also spared then. Benjamin and Dorcas have a grown son at the time of the events depicted in Concord, named Jim. Since Charlotte does not ask about any other children when they are taking tea, it’s clear that Jim is an only child, and likely is not yet married.

Quote

“But you heard, Mister Reed. What I don’t get, is that even before I mentioned them to you, they were, I know they are – they are very real. And not just today, but for years! Sir, my wife and me, we’ve been together for over two decades. That was the case even before you showed up.”

Upshot

Benjamin’s intelligence and patience help Charlotte to survive. Jacob knows that he can go to war with one less thing to worry about with Benjamin around.

Spotlight on an Original Nonsentient Alien Species – Elekai

Spotlight on an Original Nonsentient Alien Species – Elekai

Background

The thought of a planetary system much like Australia, where there are all sorts of exotic and beautiful plants and animals, but any one of them can kill you, was an irresistible one. That’s the Lafa System.

Spotlight on an Original Nonsentient Alien Species – Elekai
Elekai

Couple that with the idea of present-day terror birds, and elekai were born.

Characteristics

Elekai are pretty much what you’d expect. They’re huge, mean and dangerous. But they also make good eating. In Together, it’s established that the upper half – which is more than enough to feed seven adults and one child – tastes like chicken whereas the lower half, including the legs, tastes more like duck. In Local Flavor, elekai are described as being fattier down below, possibly a bit gamier. A few serving suggestions are offered in that story, too. Because all Calafan names are meaningful, Elekai means air bird, so it’s suggested that, unlike real terror birds, elekai can fly.

Hunting

In Together, Doug reveals that it’s a lot of work to bring down an elekai. For the one being eaten in that story, he admits that a total of nine men (eight Calafans and himself) were needed to bring down the big beast. Therefore, in Temper, when it’s only Melissa and him on a hunting trip, they don’t go after elekai, and instead hunt for linfep and perrazin.

In Fortune, and in Equinox, Doug’s death is shown or alluded to. It occurrs during an elekai hunt, but the birds have nothing to do with it. Instead, he suffers a heart attack during running in the forests of the southern hemisphere of Lafa II.

Mirror Universe

A lot of animals are extinct in the mirror (in Temper, it’s established that giraffes are one species that has gone extinct), but elekai are not, possibly because they’re so big and mean. As a means of getting Joss, Tommy, DR, and Marie Patrice off the Defiant, and making it so that Lili and Doug can also get off the ship and go to the surface, an elekai hunt is offered up as a pretext, with an accompanying picnic lunch for the Empress Hoshi Sato and her children. For someone like Jun, it’s a chance to really seal the deal in his quest to show that he can be a leader.

Upshot

Elekai aren’t meant to be smart (although they are considerably more intelligent than procul/prako). They are definitely meant to be more aggressive than linfep. Plus they’re good for Thanksgiving dinner, if you’re quite literally feeding an army. But watch out, as they’re a lot more hazardous than turkeys.

Review – Intolerance

Story Origins

A friend suggested to me as I was first starting to write Star Trek: Enterprise fanfiction – get Malcolm Reed to loosen up. I bet, down deep, he’s kinky. And so the gauntlet was thrown down. Challenge accepted.

Plot

Intolerance
Intolerance

It began with a fairly simple premise, to get an intriguing woman on the ship. Then I decided to add interest by adding a few women. And then the idea progressed to one of a kind of a competition.

Hence I decided that it would be a small medical residential rotation. The specialty would be Immunology. In order to minimize complexity, I decided on five students. In order to add a little Shakespearean-style chaos, one (and their instructor) would have an ambiguous enough name that gender could not be readily and immediately known.

The Ronettes
Cover of The Ronettes

Then the fun begins. Travis hears that there are five students coming. Three, he figures, are female. He tells Malcolm and Tripplet’s compete for them. They draw straws in order to determine who they’ll go after. Tripp wins the first draw and selects Pamela Hudson. Travis gets the second draw and decides on Blair Claymore. Malcolm is forced to settle for who he thinks will be An Nguyen. But this is the ambiguity, for An is a guy (this was also intended as a play on Reed often being depicted as gay in fan fiction). The instructor, Bernie Keating-Fong, is really Bernardine. But she’s older, and is wearing a wedding ring. It seems that Malcolm is the odd man out.

But Malcolm has a major trick up his sleeve, and writes Pamela poetry.

However, all is not right, not with Pamela, and not with the ship. Without giving away any more of the plot, suffice it to say that it is a rather odd story. It’s difficult to summarize without giving up all manner of spoilers.

Music

Amy Winehouse
Cover of Amy Winehouse

Chip and Aidan show the film Dirty Dancing and the discussion that ensues is a small plot point. It also introduces some of the music, such as Mickey and Sylvia‘s Love is Strange and The Ronettes Be My Baby. But Pamela herself has her own music – Amy Winehouse‘s You Know I’m No Good.

Story Postings

Rating

There are two versions of this story. The version of Intolerance on Ad Astra is rated M. The version of Intolerance on Fanfiction.net is rated T. The difference is the explicitness of the more intimate scenes.

Upshot

British actor Dominic Keating, DragonCon 2008
British actor Dominic Keating, DragonCon 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This story is a bit of a detour. Of the main books in the In Between Days series, it’s more of a left turn than anything else. It is ostensibly Malcolm’s story in the same way that Reversal is Lili‘s story, Together is Melissa‘s, Temper is Doug‘s and Fortune is Leonora‘s, but it’s also very much Pamela‘s story (as is Saturn Rise). Plus Malcolm is revealed in many other tales that I’ve written since then.

Frankly, Intolerance doesn’t get a lot of love, too, and its read counts are sometimes lower than those of the others. Some of that may be due to the fact that it’s the shortest of the major books, with the fewest number of chapters. But I have reread it (I reread everything) and don’t think anything could truly be added. I like its tight editing. It does very little meandering, whereas Reversal and Fortune in particular sometimes wander off and away from their main plot lines.

Kaley Cuoco
Kaley Cuoco (Photo credit: 루미넌스)

A lot of the elements are well-executed, I feel, but maybe it was too much of a departure. I don’t know. I have been happy to use it as a jumping-off point for other works, such as Together and The Cure is Worse Than the Disease. Truth be told, it may hold up better than most of what I’ve written.

 

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Portrait of a Character – Eleanor Daniels

Portrait of a Character – Eleanor Daniels

Origins

Richard Daniels didn’t necessarily need to have too much of a contemporary extended family. But I did need someone who could be a bit of an expository mouthpiece. By making his sister, Eleanor, the docent at the Temporal Museum on Lafa II, she can convincingly explain both history and what happened in between, all while pushing the story line along painlessly.

Portrayal

Eleanor is portrayed by English actress Cate Blanchett. I love her intelligence, elegance, and versatility.

Personality

Eleanor showing the cuff
Eleanor showing the cuff

Elegant, refined and intelligent, Eleanor is also incredibly lonely at the beginning of the HG Wells stories and, most likely, during Temper as well, which is something of a prequel to that series and serves as one of the bridges from In Between Days.

In Temper, one of the things I did early on was establish her expertise about both our universe and the mirror, and about the Calafans as well. It isn’t until much later in that story that it’s revealed that she wears the Cuff of Lo, which had been worn by Declan and Malcolm Reed long before her, and by Lili O’Day before them and then Yipran before her.

After Temper, Eleanor takes a bit of a break and does not show up again until A Long, Long Time Ago (the prequel for that story is A Lesson). By the time of Ohio, it’s established that she is hoping for a relationship.

Like Richard, a Mirror Universe version of her is impossible.

Relationships

Thomas Grant

Elegant Eleanor
Elegant Eleanor

They meet during Ohio, when the Human Unit at the Temporal Integrity Commission goes out for drinks after work at a dance club called The X Factor. Richard has invited Eleanor along at the insistence of his parents (they mention that they hope she can meet someone, perhaps a friend of his, during A Long, Long Time Ago). While HD Avery is very, very interested, it’s Tom Grant who grabs Eleanor’s attention. They chat and hit it off, and exchange information. But she waits for him to contact her first, as she’s tired of being the instigator.

But things start off a little bumpy between them. In You Mixed-Up Siciliano, Tom asks her out and she accepts, but that’s while the timeline is still messed up. Once the line is restored, she’s confused when he calls. Terrified that’s she’s forgotten him, and he’s completely blown it, Tom backs off.

English: Actress Cate Blanchett at the 2011 Sy...
English: Actress Cate Blanchett at the 2011 Sydney Film Festival. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But during Spring Thaw, she gives him another chance, and lets him know that the restoration and resetting of timelines means that there are, more or less, infinite chances to get things right. When Where the Wind Comes Sweepin’ Down the Plain ends, Tom is distraught over what he’s had to restore and, even though he had planned it for a more beautiful moment, he blurts out that he loves her. For a character who is somewhat controlled – they both are – Tom’s confession is a much more natural way for him to behave. Eleanor is able to bring this out of him.

In The Point is Probably Moot, the breach in the timeline briefly wipes Eleanor from existence and Tom, of course, is again distraught. He frets that somehow she knows, and is frightened and alone. In Shake Your Body, Eleanor locates a major clue at the Museum, and Rick brings Tom along to investigate. In part this is for assistance, but it’s also because Rick knows that he and Tom are going to be kept in more and so he generously gives them a chance to see each other before the forced separation. Tom tells her that, once the line is restored, he never wants to leave her again, and that it means what she probably thinks it does, an echo of Doug telling Lili that he was committed to her. Essentially, he has proposed to her. Eleanor also has given Tom the Cuff of Lo by now, a symbol of their commitment. As she puts it, she’s supposed to give it to her true love, an echo of Lili having given it to Malcolm.

Portrait of a Character – Eleanor Daniels
Eleanor Daniels in uniform; this wonderful photomanip was done by Joshawott of the STPMA

By the time of He Stays a Stranger, the timeline is so damaged that Eleanor is marrying Troy Scott. Rick runs in, in order to try to stop the wedding but, since Rick is considered wiped from existence (he is protected by a temporal force field, so he is still intact but not known to the regular populace), their parents and Eleanor do not recognize him, and he is thrown out of the church.

Quote

“There are, we believe, an infinite number of universes. What is most intriguing about the mirror is how very close it is to our own. We have a kinship with the mirror that we simply don’t have with any of the others.”

Upshot

While this character was originally intended to mainly be a plot device, she has worked overtime – in particular with Tom Grant – and also works well as a continuing thread in the HG Wells stories, helping to give them more coherence. I like how she turned out.

My thanks again to Joshawott of the Star Trek Photo Manipulation Archive for his terrific photomanipulation of Cate Blanchett.