Progress Report – November 2012

November 2012 Posted Works

November 2012 was a good, productive month. Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | Quill | November 2012

On Fanfiction.net, I posted An Announcement, Apple, A Kind of Blue, Local Flavor, Before the Fall, Brown,  Gainful and The Tribe. I also added If You Can’t Stand the Heat. I changed the protagonist’s name from Paul Miller to Will Slocum (this is how that story will be from now on).

On Ad Astra, in response to their Burdens of Command challenge, I posted Day of the Dead as a Halloween story, and it won! I also linked to it on The Delphic Expanse. I added a number of stories to the In Between Days collection. These included A Single Step, Achieving Peace, Ceremonial, Day of the Dead, Detroit Rock City, Half, The High Cost of Dissidence and Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses. In response to a prompt about gatherings, I added The Tribe. Also, I began working on a story for the family prompt (my own prompt!) called A Gathering.

On Archer’s Angels, I added Pat the Bunny, an HG Wells story which will also fit the Hall of Mirrors. I also added Before the Fall, an In Between Days prequel story in response to a prompt about the seven deadly sins (the story was about pride).

My Daranaean series, Emergence, was finally issued by Trek United Publishing!

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Emergence
Emergence

Milestones

Day of the Dead won the Ad Astra challenge! It was featured for a month and I choose the next challenge subject. I selected family as a prompt.

Together hit the 10,000 read count milestone on Ad Astra on the 19th. Intolerance continues to approach the overall 10,000 read count milestone, with well over 9,000 so far. For stories with only one placement, Hold Your Dominion is the current champ, with over 2,500 reads.

WIP Corner

I finished the last of the four E2 stories, lining them up with canon and Star Trek fan fiction. I began thinking about a new series, to probably take place in a post-Nemesis scenario. However, it will have a lot of old friends include canon characters Martin Madden and Wesley Crusher.

Prep Work

Because the new Ad Astra challenge was set for two months, and the holidays were coming and I was done with the HG Wells series, I worked on some one-offs. These were mainly from a lot earlier in my writing days, to get them to better dovetail with fanfiction. I edited and created covers for The Puzzle, There’s Something About Hoshi, If You Can’t Stand the Heat, More, More, More! and The Adventures of Porthos. I also interwove them into my fanfiction, giving them dates (e. g. Hoshi had to happen fairly late during the In Between Days period as Jay Hayes‘s replacement, Bud Dawson, is in it. Heat had to happen early as it references Naomi Curtis and a bunch of helpers for Chef Slocum, and Shelby replaces Naomi as Lili replaces all of Chef’s earlier assistants.).

This Month’s Productivity Killers

I finished writing the E2 stories, and spinning out The Times of the HG Wells. This made for a double dose of difficult feelings. Both of these moments were a bit trying, and for dissimilar reasons. The E2 stories in particular deal with Jay Hayes‘s death. Hence ending those stories feels a little bit like the character’s death all over again. The end of the Wells stories brings with it a bit of sadness (even though it’s an overall rather happy ending). That’s because those characters aren’t so easy to revisit. Both of these have made it a bit hard to start a new series, yet I am determined.

Furthermore, as ever, I continue to look for work. The holidays are undoubtedly also going to turn into productivity killers.

Portrait of a Character – Richard Daniels

Portrait of a Character – Richard Daniels

Origins

Portrait of a Character – Richard Daniels
Agent Richard Daniels (Matt Winston)

This character is, of course, Star Trek: Enterprise canon, but he does not have a given name in canon, or even a first initial. Nothing is known of his inner life or personality. In the series, he’s just a time traveler and does not seem to have emotional reactions to much of what happens, except when his own time period is threatened.

Portrayal

As in canon, Richard is played by actor Matt Winston.

Personality

Portrait of a Character – Richard Daniels
Richard Daniels (Matt Winston)

Smarter than anyone else in the room, Rick is a natural for time travel. But he’s also a bit bored, and is jaded by constantly putting things back. This includes allowing people to die who seem to be innocents. In order to comfort himself, and to keep himself occupied, he begins bedding women in time.

All goes along fine until one of the women ends up pregnant. This would not matter so much to history (although it matters to Richard), except that the pregnant woman is the Empress Hoshi Sato.

He has a good relationship with his sister, Eleanor. For a long time, she is the only person he confides in.

Rick’s Conquests

Rick is a womanizer at the start of A Long, Long Time Ago. Here are his known conquests, in the order of the conquests (his perspective in time):

His Time Her Name Her Time
3101 Lucretia Crossman 1699
After 3101 Betty Tyler 1929
After 3101 Phillipa Green March, 2763
After 3101 Empress Hoshi Sato (mirror) January 30, 2156
After 3101 Dana MacKenzie 2380
After 3101 Irene of Castile 1417
May 5, 3104 Carmen Calavicci May 5, 3104
March 27 – August 25, 3109 Tina April March 27, 3109 – August 25, 3109
September 7, 3109 Annette (Windy) Bradley May 3 – 4, 1970
3109 – 3110 Sheilagh Bernstein September, 3109 – March 3110
March 3110 Milena Chelenska July – August, 1968

Relationships

Tina April

Unlike his temporal conquests, Tina is a real-live girlfriend for Richard. They check each other out in A Lesson and then are introduced at the start of Temper. But at the end of A Long, Long Time Ago, he ends it, although he contacts her a few times, during both Ohio and The Point is Probably Moot.

Milena Chelenska

They meet during the events of Spring Thaw. They enjoy each other’s company and are intellectual equals. They’re also both suffering from some melancholy. Hers is more significant than his, as she is a Holocaust survivor. Perhaps in part because he isn’t supposed to have her, Richard finds himself falling for her. It isn’t until He Stays a Stranger that he does anything about it.

Missions

Richard goes on several missions for the Temporal Integrity Commission. He isn’t just fooling around. Here are his only known missions (so far) –

His Time Mission Locale Mission Time
3096 NX-01 2152
After 3096 NX-01 July 10, 2154
Between 3096 & 3101 American Colonies 1757
Between 3096 & 3101 Pompeii AD 79
Between 3096 & 3101 Rome 44 BC
Between 3096 & 3101 Rome 450 BC
3101 Pennsylvania 1699
After 3101 New Jersey/New York 1929
After 3101 Unknown, somewhere on Earth March, 2763
After 3101 ISS Defiant January 30, 2156
After 3101 USS Enterprise-E 2380
3104 Mirror Universe, Dawitan November 3, 2012
March 27, 3109 Lafa II 2161/2166/2178
August, 3109 Clear Lake, Iowa 1959
September 7, 3109 Kent State, Ohio May 3 – 4, 1970
3109 Rome, Pompeii and Naples May, 1960
3109 Prague July – August, 1968
3109 Oklahoma City April, 1995
3109 Egypt October, 1981
3109 Florida January, 1986
3110 Mirror Universe/Earth orbit and Rura Penthe/Prague May 20 – 25, 2192/June 21, 1964/July 19 – 20,1969

Personal Reactions

As is explained in the HG Wells series, a lot of temporal alterations are minor (otric), and don’t affect the overall timeline. In the E2 stories, Richard’s cabin is opened up more than once, as the displaced NX-01 attempts to reach him so that they can be restored to their correct time period. While it’s difficult for him, Rick ends up having to ignore them as the Enterprise, in two separate iterations, is meant to be in the 2030s and beyond.

Theme Music

In Temper, his music is The Records’ Your Starry Eyes. But in the HG Wells stories, his themes are Andrew Gold’s Lonely Boy and then, finally, Secret Agent Man by Johnny Rivers, which was the original inspirational music for the series itself.

Mirror Universe

Rick does not have a Mirror Universe counterpart, and explains the reason for that to Sheilagh Bernstein during Ohio. In First Born, because Rick has fathered a temporally incompatible child, he and his boss, Carmen Calavicci, have to negotiate in order to allow Rick’s son, Jun, to live. One of the conditions of Jun being allowed to survive is that Rick is not permitted to return to the Mirror Universe during the Empress’s lifetime. However, he can go to the Mirror during other time periods and, when he does, in a kind of salute to her, he calls himself Ritchie as she called him that (the nickname is a reference to Ritchie Valens, and A Long, Long Time Ago). An earlier Mirror Universe mission is shown in Pat the Bunny.

Quote

“I’m sorry, but no, though I have never forgotten you, either of you. And I love my, my child, but I know that I have never been a father to you. I wish I had been.”

Upshot

For a guy who doesn’t even have a first name in canon, I think I’ve given him a pretty wild life. Hopefully, readers find him as fascinating as I have.

Review – There’s Something About Hoshi

Review – There’s Something About Hoshi

Background

Back in 2005, I wrote an initial five Star Trek: Enterprise fan fiction stories. They were all intended to be centered around the five senses. More, More, More was about hearing. The Puzzle (which was a more complex and ambitious tale) was about sight. The Adventures of Porthos took on smell. And If You Can’t Stand the Heat was about taste.

Hence There’s Something About Hoshi was about touch and, by extension, feelings.

Plot

The story begins with Hoshi Sato being courted by Ted Stone. But he’s a somewhat inept suitor, and keeps missing his marks. He tries to be romantic but can’t quite get it right. Hoshi fears she is settling, and references the canon E2 episode where she settled for “old what’s his name” (Sekar Khan, the Quartermaster).

The Enterprise is contacted by an unknown species, the Arisians. They notice her on the Bridge and their communications are inept enough that one of them is heard mentioning his astonishment that there is a woman. A pretext is created for Hoshi to come to the surface. She agrees even though everyone that the Enterprise sees on Aris seems to be male.

Review – There’s Something About Hoshi
Hoshi dressed for the evening (Linda Park)

A pair of MACOs accompany Hoshi, and it becomes clear that they are a gay couple. Friends of hers, they compliment her on her choice of attire for the evening. It’s confirmed that Frank Todd will be one of the MACOs going to the surface (Frank also shows up in Shell Shock and in the E2 stories), as will his boss, Major Dawson (Dawson is also a part of Shell Shock and is the replacement for Jay Hayes).

A visit to the planet confirms that everyone is male. Milit, an Arisian, tells the landing party (in addition to Hoshi, Corporal Todd and Major Dawson, Travis Mayweather, Jonathan Archer and Malcolm Reed are present) that, long ago, the men of his species researched how to decrease gestation until eventually they could accomplish all of it without women. Once that was accomplished, they allowed all of the women to die out and only cloned males. Hoshi realizes, uncomfortably, that she is the only woman on the entire planet.

Review – There’s Something About Hoshi
Hieroglyphics at mesa pintada

She asks to see hieroglyphics, which were the pretext for getting her to the surface. Todd and an Arisian, Lio, accompany her to where the hieroglyphics are supposed to be. Todd and Hoshi are overcome and her hormones are extracted via syringe. However, Lio and his cohorts also inject her and Corporal Todd with something else.

By the time Hoshi returns to the ship, she is suddenly irresistible to all of the men on board (and a few women as well), but not Corporal Todd as his preference doesn’t go that way. Harassed and scared, even the captain gets in on bothering her, leering at her on the Bridge as various other male crew members make all sorts of passes at her until the Arisians can make things right again.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

I played the story for humor. While it’s still funny, seven years of hindsight give me another perspective. In a lot of ways, it’s kind of creepy, the way that everyone is throwing themselves at her. The character was in very real danger of being sexually assaulted. If I were writing the story today, I would probably amp up the fear more, and downplay more of the humor.

Portrait of a Character – Leah Benson

Portrait of a Character – Leah Benson

Origins

In The Light, I needed a Rabbi character. Because women have fairly recently been admitted to the Rabbinate in all Jewish sects except for Orthodox (and it is highly doubtful that even the most competent Orthodox Jew would go into space during the Star Trek: Enterprise era), I decided on a female Rabbi.

Portrayal

I decided I wanted a Jewish actress and so I selected Mayim Bialik. This actress is of course known not only for her child star work, but also for her more recent work on The Big Bang Theory.

Portrait of a Character – Leah Benson
Rabbi Leah Benson

I also felt that Starfleet would select someone relatively young to fulfill this role, as they would be hoping for someone to stick around for a while and that person would also need to be someone not easily shocked by things like asking to pray over a dying alien or even something as incredible as a Xindi Reptilian potentially asking to convert to Judaism.

Personality

Friendly, approachable and consoling, Rabbi Benson is not only an expert on Judaism, she’s also something of a counselor. For Ethan Shapiro, Andrew Miller, Josh Rosen and Karin Bernstein, the Rabbi may stand in as a parent when difficult decisions need to be made. She is someone they can turn to if they are grieving, or unsure of things, thereby allowing Captain Archer and Doctor Phlox more breathing room.

Relationships

Diana Jones

In Bread, it’s revealed that they married (thereby predicting that gay marriage will be legal in the United Federation of Planets). Their long-term, loving relationship is sorely tested when Diana becomes gravely ill.

Mirror Universe

Leah’s only known relationship in the Mirror Universe is with Leonora Digiorno. As ruthless as anyone else in the mirror, Leah is not a woman of God. Instead, she is a pilot, and is meant to be somewhat similar to Melissa Madden, who the Mirror Norri never meets.

Portrait of a Character – Leah Benson
Mirror Leah

The image is brief but indelible, in Fortune, when Leah murders Norri for the most selfish and trivial of reasons. Nasty, brutal and efficient, Leah steals the meager possessions she can carry and leaves Norri’s broken body without looking back.

Quote

“When Starfleet was established, this question was decided, as Talmudic scholars determined that there could be occasions when Kaddish would have to be said but a Jew would be, perhaps alone, or with no means of communicating with other Jews. So, you can pray with a quorum, a minyan partly composed of Jews who are linked via communications – such as we are linked right now. Or you can enlist the help of non-Jewish friends for this specific purpose. Either way will work.”

Upshot

Leah is about as different as anyone can be when you compare her Prime and Mirror Universe counterparts. I wanted her to be that way, whereas Doug and Jay are, for example, a lot closer. Leah represents just how different the two sides of the coin truly can be, and how a few changes in someone’s life can turn them from a gentle, caring person to a ruthless, cold-blooded monster.

Inspiration – Life Events

Background

I don’t write Star Trek fanfiction in a vacuum. Like anyone else, life gets in the way, it meanders around or my writing does, and the two collide. For what is writing without a connection to real life events?

Dating, Love, Wedding and Marriage

My own marriage and wedding are a bit of fiction fodder, Vulcan weddingI admit it, and back into dating, too, of course. These are major life events, and the lead up to them as well. A Kind of Blue absolutely evokes the excitement of my own wedding (I was not pregnant) and also a little bit of the uncertainty about the future. You wonder if everything is going to be all right. So far, so good.

Dating in a lot of ways informs Reversal, as Lili first goes on a disastrous blind date with Brian Delacroix (as Jenny Crossman pushes away a grabby Aidan MacKenzie) and then goes on a number of memorable (literal) dream dates with Doug. Her E2 experiences with Jay Hayes and Malcolm Reed are also very date-centric.

Birth of Nephews

I have no children of my own, Human-Vulcan hybrid babyso my nephews stand in for the kids I write about. Stories such as Tumult give life to the sense of waiting around – seemingly forever – in hospital rooms. Small children are seen there, and in Together, Temper, and Fortune, among other places, including The Facts.

Life at Work

I’ve had any number of work experiences, Striking union workersmuch like anyone of my age does. In particular, the HG Wells stories evoke work and working conditions. I’ve had bosses like Carmen Calavicci. She’s a bit brassy but she gets the job done. In A Long, Long Time Ago, potential employees are put through a group interviewing process – and I have been through such interviews, too. As the series progresses and the time travelers learn to work together, that also evokes various work experiences. People do not immediately have chemistry. Sometimes you need to really try in order to make things work.

Justice and Mercy

I’ve practiced law Tribunal(that was a long, long time ago!), and so I’ve seen trials and I’ve been behind the scenes. I wanted Shell Shock to bring a lot of that knowledge to the fore. A pair of trials are also conducted in the E2 stories. I wanted very much for the concept of people trying to do the right thing, even if they don’t necessarily have the means or knowledge with which to do so, to be understood by the reader.

Medical Care and Crises

I have seen people who were very sickSick Bay and, truly, dying. Of course I don’t just witness such things and take notes for my writing or anything. I am not outside of the moment. But these things do happen, and they are, indeed, remembered. In the E2 stories, and in Shell Shock, characters emerge from comas (in the former, the emergence is overtly included, in the latter, only the aftermath is seen).

Death

For experiences of death, and characters’ reactions thereto, I tend to rely rather heavily on Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. Her five stages of grief, in particular, informed the Hold Your Dominion/Gina Nolan stories. Mourning is evoked in Fortune, but also in Equinox, A Hazy Shade and Remembrance.

Upshot

For Star Trek to be Star Trek, there are any number of ships, aliens and whiz-bang effects. But, more importantly, there are people. And those people tend to have experiences that are a lot like our own, or at least their experiences should be similar to ours. Otherwise, it’s just a lot of ships whooshing by and a lot of explosions, and not much else. Fine in the moment, but not memorable, and certainly nothing that has survived for over four and a half decades. It’s the stories about people that survive. By placing my own experiences into my writing, I am hoping, if not for immortal stories, then at least for tales with more depth. I hope I’ve achieved a small measure of that.

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Portrait of a Character – Daniel Chang

Portrait of a Character – Daniel Chang

Origins

The character is canon, albeit he does not have a first name. Therefore, I selected the actor’s own first name.

Portrayal

As in the original, Chang is played by Daniel Dae Kim.

Personality

Portrait of a Character – Daniel Chang
Daniel Chang (Daniel Dae Kim)

In canon, Chang is a Corporal. But he always rubbed me the wrong way. And so I have added a disobedient streak to him.

Subversive and, sometimes, downright mean, Chang is the villain, particularly in the E2 stories. But there is a background to his behavior.

In Demotion, Chang’s mouth and his penchant for going AWOL at the worst of times leads to the action depicted in the title. This story, a prequel, dovetails with the canon Hatchery episode. I also wanted to address how thoughts that Jay Hayes might be gay would affect him and could be spun out as a part of my fanfiction. Plus I wanted Dan to be resentful.

Dan really gets to be resentful in the E2 stories. Both kick backs in time occur not too long after the events in Demotion, so he has plenty of reasons to be angry. During both kick backs, he is insubordinate and often gripes about the mistakes that have led to injuries, damage and worse during those two alternate time lines. Furthermore, during the first kick back in time, Dan behaves extremely badly. It would be a major spoiler to reveal what happened, but suffice to say that Dan, while not a killer, is very nearly as bad. Deciding what to do about him is a major issue for Captain Archer.

In the second E2 kick back in time, Dan is not as monstrous, but he still behaves in a rather nasty manner. He meets his end in an uncomfortable fashion, but has a chance to be at least a bit of a hero. In that story, Dan shows he has a heart. He’s not simply a one-dimensional bad guy.

The Shell Shock story also references Demotion, when Dan (along with Malcolm, Tristan Curtis, and Josef Kastle and Derek Kelby from the NX-02 Columbia) is suspected of a crime. Dan’s poor behavior comes back to haunt him and he remains under suspicion longer than most because he is so uncooperative and nasty.

Relationships

The only relationship I have written for him is from the first E2 kick back in time, when he and Sandra Sloane accidentally conceive a child. Their daughter, named Kimberly, is an eventual ancestor of the people who the people from the second E2 kick back meet, including Charlotte Reed-Hayes Archer. Kimberly barely knows her father, but is able to tell him, eventually, that she forgives him. As for Sandra, there is no love lost between her and Dan and, when she takes up with Brooks Haynem, Sandra leaves Dan far behind and never looks back.

Mirror Universe

I have never written a Mirror counterpart for Dan, but he is not, explicitly, a dead man on the other side of the pond. Hence he may eventually show up there.

Portrait of a Character – Daniel Chang

He might be carefree, or even obedient and almost conventional.

Quote

“He was unprepared. And that gets you killed around here.”

Upshot

Bad guys need to exist, otherwise stories aren’t that interesting. There needs to be tension. There must be conflict. For me, Daniel Chang provides it in spades.

Recurrent Themes – Medical Personnel

Recurrent Themes – Medical Personnel

Medical Personnel are a must.

Background

Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | DNA | Medical Personnel

Physicians, of course, are Star Trek canon and are absolutely necessary in space. After all, you can’t just grab the nearest ambulance and hotfoot it to a hospital. You have got to have a doctor on board.

I have created quite a few medical characters as I’ve been writing. I think my somewhat ambivalent feelings about medicine often come into play.

Medical Personnel Appearances

There are so many physicians; here they are listed by series.

In Between Days

Baden

Baden is a Calafan doctor seen in Reversal, and is a part of the conspiracy.

Blair Claymore

In Intolerance, Blair comes across as more sympathetic than any of the other visiting physicians who are in the midst of their Immunology rotation. By the time of Fortune, she has become Malcolm‘s CMO on the USS Bluebird. In the Mirror Universe, she is some sort of technician and is no doctor.

Pamela Hudson

Pamela makes her first appearance in Intolerance. By the time of Temper, Malcolm reveals to Lili that Pamela (in an alternate timeline) has become the doctor, if not the person, that she was always meant to be. Pamela has more air time in her eventual relationship with the Calafan Treve, in To Wish, To Want, To Desire and The Best Things Come in Pairs.

Bernardine Keating-Fong

Only seen in Intolerance, Bernie is never shown practicing. Instead, she is the lecturer for the Immunology class, and her name is meant to amp up some more of the early gender confusion in Intolerance.

Keleth

A Klingon doctor, Keleth is instrumental in fixing what’s wrong in Intolerance. Almost as importantly, he has, perhaps, the most normal and loving relationship in that entire book.

Miva

A Calafan, Miva is Lili‘s obstetrician in Together and Fortune. It is she who tells Lili that sex with Doug during pregnancy is not advisable, and it is Miva who performs the O’Day Reversal again after Lili gives birth to Declan.

Cyril Morgan

A kindly retired orthopedic surgeon, Morgan is Pamela’s uncle and is grandfather to Cindy Morgan. In Fortune, Cindy brings her friend, Jia Sulu, with her to Marie Patrice’s birthday party and therefore, at an extremely young age, Joss meets his future bride.

An Nguyen

Brittle and somewhat condescending, An could use some lessons in bedside manner. He backbites with Pamela but does offer her a place to sleep when Will and Blair commandeer her quarters. As a physician, he treats a Daranaean woman, Libba, in The Cure is Worse Than the Disease.

Will Owen

Will never actually gets to practice. In Together, Pamela reveals that he hanged himself a few days after he was expelled, following the events outlined in Intolerance.

Phlox

This Star Trek Enterprise canon physician is the first to prove that Doug is real, in Reversal. He finds the cure in Intolerance and treats Lili as an obstetrics patient in Together.

Mark Stone

As the last of the five classmates in the Intolerance Immunology rotation, Mark is a child of wealth and privilege, son of Emily Stone, the new envoy to the Xindi. About the only other thing revealed about him is that he is a gay man.

T’Par

A Vulcan doctor, she is instrumental in finding a cure for Doctor Keating-Fong during Intolerance.

Times of the HG Wells

Marisol Castillo

A femme fatale, Marisol gets few chances to practice medicine, although she does provide Sheilagh Bernstein with physical enhancements during Ohio.

Kingston (No First Name)

During You Mixed-Up Siciliano, he is baffled by Christopher Donnelly’s condition, not recognizing that the boy, in 1960, has been infected with what would later be identified as the Ebola virus.

Sanchez (No First Name)

He is Malcolm‘s doctor and is never actually seen. Malcolm refers to him in The Point is Probably Moot, as knowing of a traditional Calafan remedy for erectile dysfunction – tofflin root tea.

Boris Yarin

Paranoid, powerful and suspicious, Boris has reason to wonder about Marisol’s intentions. Much like her, he has few chances to practice, although he also works on Sheilagh. In Where the Wind Comes Sweepin’ Down the Plain, his past is referenced, where he treated an injured Klingon rugby player, Kriz, which was how he met his wife, Darragh Stratton.

Yimiva

She is the doctor for the Calafan unit, and performs the autopsy on Anthony Parker. The presence of Ebola and stem cell growth accelerator in Parker’s blood reveals that he had been an operative for the Perfectionists.

Emergence

An Nguyen

By the time of The Cure is Worse Than the Disease, An has been hired as the CMO on Erika Hernandez’s ship, the USS Columbia (NX-02), which is where he loses his youthful enthusiasm. This theme is taken up some more in Take Back the Night, as An reveals that he would really rather avoid the Daranaeans.

Rechal

First seen during Take Back the Night, Rechal examines the fetus that the murdered Inta was carrying. Finding that it was a male, Rechal informs Arnis that an investigation must be conducted. In Flight of the Bluebird, it is revealed that he is in the Daranaean prison, but is still helping to try to find a cure for thylacine paramyxovirus.

Trinning

First seen as a teenaged boy in Take Back the Night, and then as a slightly older boy in Temptation, Trinning doesn’t start to practice medicine until Flight of the Bluebird, when he works as a medical researcher with his unofficial assistant, Trava.

Varelle

Another Daranaean doctor, Varelle is first seen as a doctor refusing to treat Libba in The Cure is Worse Than the Disease.

Interphases

Andrew Miller

Andy starts off as a science Ensign. However, in the E2 stories, it becomes obvious very quickly that Phlox will need help delivering babies. Andrew studies and, eventually, can be called Doctor Miller.

Pamela Reed-Hayes (Née Reed)

During the first kick back in time, Lili has three children. Pamela is her daughter with Malcolm, and she succeeds Phlox as the ship’s CMO.

The Mirror Universe

Baden

This Calafan doctor shows, in Reversal, that he mainly just follows orders, even if they are, ultimately, immoral. Unlike his Prime Universe counterpart, he actually ends up committing murder.

Miva

Seen only briefly in Reversal, the mirror Miva is really only known as the Prime Universe Baden’s nighttime lover. They met when they made psychic contact and she was, instead of meditating, trying to remember the bones of the hand as she was getting ready for her examinations. Seen again in Fortune, Miva helps by setting Lucy Stone‘s broken leg and offers Chip, Tripp and Beth various odd jobs so that they can pay her.

Cyril Morgan

Morgan is brought on as a replacement for the canon doctor, the Denobulan Phlox.

The Mirror Morgan is ruthless and probably barely competent. In Reversal, Doug reveals that there is a lot of complicated equipment on the Defiant, but Morgan doesn’t seem to know how to use any of it. It is unclear whether he or Phlox kills Ian Reed, and the ambiguity is carried through Paving Stones Made from Good Intentions and Coveted Commodity. It isn’t until Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses that it is revealed just how Morgan got onto the Defiant, and exactly who ordered, and who caused, Ian’s death.

Mark Stone

Some time after Morgan’s death, in The Point is Probably Moot, it is revealed that Mark is the Empress’s new CMO. For him, his homosexuality is something of a lifesaver, for it frees him from being tempted by her wiles. Even so, he spends some of his time fending off the overly aggressive sexual advances of the Empress Hoshi Sato.

Upshot

I seem to write a lot of monstrous physicians, but also a number of heroes. For every nasty Marisol Castillo, there is a romantic Keleth. For every paranoid Boris Yarin, there is  a sympathetic Blair Claymore. And for each prejudiced Varelle, there is an open-minded Trinning.

Spotlight on an Original Species – Imvari

Background

Imvari (the same word is used for both the singular and the plural) were originally brought into Together as a kind of beefy muscle. They were meant to be very tall (over two meters, which is more than six and a half feet) and ruthless in my Star Trek fanfiction.

Imagery

I realized after a while – after I had written Dennis Ott as a horned alienThe Reptile Speaks and had decided that the Imvari did not keep their genitals where most of us do – that this concept had been covered before, in the Star Trek: Original Series film, The Undiscovered Country. It took a while to find the image, but I did.

Hence, this unnamed alien male is – tada! – an Imvari.

Language and Culture

Unlike the Calafans, I didn’t bother writing a language for these folks. However, I did need writing, as a plot point in Together is an escape on an Imvari ship. Hence the Imvari (like the Daranaeans would also get) were given pictograph writing.

Pictographs were meant to be somewhat similar to European road signs, with basic circles, arrows, triangles, squares, rectangles and squiggles denoting things like warp factors, weapons, clothing storage, etc.

As a species that’s considerably taller than most others, Imvari tend to stay away from the rest of us. In Together, Lili and Deb learn that the Imvari are not a threat when it comes to sexual assault as they are simply incapable of pairing with human women.

Weaponry and Duties

In the E2 stories, and in Together, it’s established that they keep prisoners in line with what I’m calling shocking sticks. These types of implements are somewhat akin to the canon Klingon pain sticks.

Image of Adromeda Galaxy in infrared.
Image of Adromeda Galaxy in infrared. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In both the E2 stories and in Together, the Imvari work as guards, slave catchers and the like but are generally not seen to be the brains of any operation. That honor belongs to, respectively, the Orion Syndicate and the non-humanoid Andromeda galaxy species, the Zetal.

In the HG Wells stories, the Imvari are a part of the Temporal Integrity Commission.

Appearances

Apart from Together, Imvari are mentioned a bit in the HG Wells stories, but really only in passing as being yet another galactic species that is at peace with and a part of the successor entity to the Federation.

In the E2 stories, they get a lot more air time, as I needed a villain species that would not be the Xindi. In the E2 stories, the Imvari are responsible for gathering up vulnerable individuals for sale to the Orion Syndicate and processing into slavery. Many of these processed individuals are Ikaarans, and it is on an Imvari slaver ship that Lili and Jay first spend any real time with Ikaarans (although there is an earlier communication which is more formal, but the Ikaaran captain, Jeris, declines Captain Archer‘s offer to share in their Christmas dinner).

Upshot

Before you judge the Imvari as being mere brutes, the species has a writing that is intended to be almost like a modern, stylized version of Egyptian hieroglyphics. By the time of Richard Daniels (31st and 32nd centuries), the species is at peace with nearly all the others in the galaxy. Not bad for a bunch of interstellar thugs.

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Portrait of a Character – T’Pol

Portrait of a Character – T’Pol

Origins

The character, of course, is Star Trek: Enterprise canon.

Portrayal

As in the show, the character is played by actress Jolene Blalock.

Personality

Portrait of a Character – T'Pol
Starfleet Commander T’Pol (Jolene Blalock)

As a main character, a great deal of T’Pol‘s journey has already been seen on the small screen. Because there is limited time for television programs, T’Pol, Archer and Tucker all received significantly greater shares of airtime. This was virtually always at the expense of Reed, Sato, Mayweather and Phlox. Frankly, by the time I started writing fanfiction, I’d gotten sick of her.

Complicating matters was the fact that I have always found it extremely difficult to write wholly unemotional Vulcans (this is a large part of why Eriecho wears her heart on her sleeve so much).

Relationships

Charles Tucker III

The relationship, naturally, is canon. And in canon, it just plain doesn’t work out, despite what fan fiction writers often want. Them’s the breaks! However, it is also canon that they marry in the E2 scenario. Therefore, I follow canon and have them do just that. Because my E2 scenario contains two kicks back in time, Tripp and T’Pol are given two separate chances for love and marriage.

In the first scenario, their wedding is far more traditional, and they later have twins. Pregnancy causes T’Pol to lose her emotional control – a fact that, conveniently for me, makes it easier to write her.

In the second scenario, T’Pol puts the brakes on their relationship. When pressed by Tucker, she reveals that she was widowed for a very long time. He correctly deduces that she was horribly hurt by this. She eventually comes around and they wed, but the ceremony is less conventional. In keeping with canon, their only child is their canon son, Lorian. As in the other scenario, she loses her emotional control, but it happens later.

Travis Mayweather

It can scarcely be called a relationship as it is more of a needs fulfillment gone horribly wrong. In the alternative timeline “what if” scenario story, The Black Widow, T’Pol attempts to satisfy pon farr with Doctor Phlox (that’s canon). When he proves inadequate in her eyes, she goes after Travis, and the encounter kills him. Still unsated, she attempts to seduce Malcolm as well (that’s also canon).

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – T'Pol
Mirror Universe T’Pol (Jolene Blalock)

This version of the character is also canon. In Reversal, T’Pol is already dead – an easy way for me to avoid writing a character who I’ve always found difficult. But for the transitional story, Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses, T’Pol is very much alive, although in the Brig and clearly not for long. In that story, the new Empress Hoshi Sato the First personally dispatches T’Pol as a means of continuing to cement her grip on the crew of the Defiant and, eventually, the Terran Empire.

Quote

“I surmised as much. Petty tyrants are predictable. True leaders are the only ones of interest. If you had remembered Captain Forrest or Soval as well as you seem to remember how to manipulate the weak-minded, I’d say you’d have a chance at a truly great rule. But as it is, you’ll only be remembered as a tin pot dictator.” 

Upshot

It continues to be a challenge for me to write T’Pol. and her lines are often a stumbling block in my E2 stories especially. However, I’m finding her easier and easier to write as time elapses and, I suppose, we get further and further away from the actual original broadcast of the series. I know I don’t do her enough justice.