Of course, all of Star Trek fan fiction is like that, but the idea here is to provide a window into how a single canon concept can be used in fanfiction.
The species is canon, and they are normally shown as being obese, bearded men who enjoy hurling insults.
I don’t tamper with that.
However, my first questions were – what do their women look like? And, as importantly, they are (in canon) a founding member of the United Federation of Planets. So how the heck do they get along with everyone else?
In the two (so far) Mary Reed stories, Tellarites get a bit more of a look than they did in canon.
In Gainful, Mary gets her first-ever job outside of the home – answering fan mail for pop sensation Kurt Fong. But it’s not all glitz and glamour, as the Romulan War is going on. Kurt wants to be informed of any requests to entertain the troops, or provide visits or autographed pictures for the wounded. It’s up to Mary to get all of that to him in a timely manner.
One of her coworkers, Cympia Triff, is a Tellarite, and Mary initially isn’t sure whether that person is male or female. Furthermore, their boss, Ehigha Ejiogu, tells Mary that Cympia really wants to hear an insult, a fact that mortifies Mary a bit. They trade these unconventional pleasantries and Mary learns that Cympia (the computer programmer) is female. A small friendship, perhaps, is forming by the time the story ends.
In The Tribe, it’s the end of Mary’s first day, so she takes a commuter mag-lev train home. While riding through Southeast Asia, the train becomes stuck. A fellow commuter is in labor, and all of the men in the car flee for other cars save one – a young male Tellarite.
While they are difficult people, the truth is, plenty of humans are, too. The way I see Tellarites is a lot like a curmudgeonly relative. They may be hard-nosed and harsh on the outside, but inside, they really do care. I hope I’ll have occasion to showcase them some more, and I will in the upcoming Barnstorming series.