Progress Report – May 2013

Posted Works

The month began with my Quill hijinks story, Where No Gerbil Has Gone Before, winning the April 2013 Ad Astra challenge. The prize was to select the next month’s challenge topic – I selected forgiveness. For that topic, I wrote Saturn Rise. In response to a prompt about sex, I wrote Complications. For fun, I added a second response, Transported. In response to the flash fiction challenge, I added Conversations with Heroes. In response to a challenge about childhood, I posted Bribery. In response to a challenge about famous last words, I posted Who Shall Wear the Robe and Crown?

I also finished spinning out The Three of Us on Ad Astra. I added Where No Gerbil Has Gone Before, Conversations with Heroes, Saturn Rise and November 12th to In Between Days context. I added November 13th to Times of the HG Wells context. I began posting Everybody Knows This is Nowhere.

On Fanfiction.net, I finished spinning out Day of the Dead. I added Where No Gerbil Has Gone Before, Bribery and Conversations with Heroes.

Milestones

On Fanfiction.net, Concord exceeded 1,000 reads before the 25th. Temper made it to 10,000 reads on Ad Astra. Ohio, A Long, Long Time Ago, More Than a Will to Live and Take Back the Night are all at over 5,000 overall reads. The Daranaean Emergence series is getting close to 10,000 overall reads. Interphases and the AU series are both at over 10,000 overall reads, the HG Wells series is at over 30,000 overall reads and the In Between Days series has over 100,000 overall reads.

WIP Corner

I continued working on The All-Stars, although I did not always have time for it. For Ad Astra’s summertime Twelve Trials of Triskelion, I elected to work with the bluesman.

Prep Work

I spent time on the website and on some of the pages here (e. g. Accolades).The bluesman and I also had a lot of work to do in order to get our collaboration to make sense. I created a cover for Saturn Rise, to be entered into the cover competition on Ad Astra.

This Month’s Productivity Killers

English: The Bourne Bridge over the Cape Cod C...
English: The Bourne Bridge over the Cape Cod Canal, with the Cape Cod Canal Railroad Bridge in the background. The bridges are located near the town of Bourne in Barnstable County, Massachusetts. These are two of the three bridges over the Cape Cod Canal. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I went on vacation to Cape Cod for a few days, midmonth. It was great fun but I still had to work and I also had to share the one laptop computer with my husband. On Ad Astra, the Twelve Trials of Triskelion prompted some creativity but also smothered some, as time was spent in all sorts of endeavors. Great fun, but the number of hours in a day was still, alas, limited.

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Review – The Reptile Speaks

Review – The Reptile Speaks

Background

I can’t recall the precise circumstances, but I was a fairly new member of Ad Astra and we were talking about mixed-species couples in Star Trek fanfiction.

Review – The Reptile Speaks
The Reptile Speaks

I mentioned that I figured, as we get deeper and deeper into the future, we’d start to see a lot of – to us – bizarre combinations.

Why wouldn’t a Gorn recite love poetry to a lovely, blushing Cardassian maiden?

And so the gauntlet was thrown down and I was told, write this.

Plot

For teenaged boys Bron and Skrol, the upcoming Sadie Hawkins dance is an occasion for nerves. Skrol is trying to make time with his girl, Tr’Dorna. Bron is encouraged to ask out Tr’Dorna’s roommate, Etrina. But Bron will have none of that – he’s interested in Sophra.

Oh, and did I mention that the boys are Gorn, Etrina and Tr’Dorna are Xindi Reptilian, and Sophra (and her roommate, Ylinka) is a Cardassian?

Perhaps that detail shouldn’t have been left out.

But, truly, teens are teens, wherever you go, and whatever age adolescence happens for a particular species (for Vulcans, it can apparently occur somewhat later). And so there is a bit of a push and pull that occurs. Who will end up together? Will Bron’s advances be accepted or repelled? Bron’s got a secret weapon, but you’ll have to read the story in order to find out just what it is.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

Gorn are nearly universally set up as hissing, sneering bad guys, and I wanted there to be a way to redeem them. After all, they’re not too terribly different from Xindi Reptilians, and that species was redeemed by the end of ENT. Plus, I would hope that, eventually, the entire galaxy will be at peace. That means breaking bread with Gorn. And if they are at all like Bron, and even Skrol, it’ll be easy.

Portrait of a Character – Josie O’Connor (Jhasi Tantharis)

Portrait of a Character – Josie O’Connor (Jhasi Tantharis)

Origins

I wanted a pair of tragic figures for the HG Wells stories. Kevin O’Connor would be a widower, and Richard Daniels would be a womanizer who needed more out of life. Originally, Kevin’s deceased wife, Josie, wouldn’t be seen at all. She didn’t even have a species to start out. But the more I thought about the delicacy and weirdness of the Aenar, the more I wanted Josie to be one of them.

Portrayal

Josie is played by former child star Ashley Olsen.

Portrait of a Character – Josie O'Connor (Jhasi Tantharis)

Between the Olsen twins, she’s tended to be the quieter one, and seems to stay out of the public eye more than her sister, Mary-Kate, does.

I wanted someone who would look like a waif but not anorexic, at least not at the beginning. Josie would start off as youthful and beautiful, the picture of health. But it all goes horribly wrong.

Personality

Friendly, personable and kind, Josie is a kindergarten teacher when she meets Kevin. She’s also a bit of a fashion plate – a strange thing for someone who is blind. But the Aenar reportedly have something of a sixth sense, so Josie is able to coordinate her rather flashy outfits.

Relationships

Kevin O’Connor

Josie’s sole relationship is with Kevin. According to The Point is Probably Moot, Candyand The Honky-Tonk Angel, they meet at a party at his engineering firm, when Kevin, a new-quarter-teragram-sized part-Gorn, is dragged along to play wingman for his coworker, Archie Leach. Leach strikes out with a Trill, but Kevin connects with Jhasi. Mishearing her name, he calls her Josie, and thinks he’s blown it. But she finds him charming.

He takes her to a ballgame for their first date, and they get serious very quickly, and marry. But things go awry when she’s diagnosed with a fatal disease, Piaris Syndrome. The illness is a degenerative one, but the worst part of it is at the very end, when she stops knowing him.

In The Point is Probably Moot, the temporal changes wrought by the Perfectionists result in her being briefly restored to life, and she finally speaks in a story that isn’t a prequel.

Mirror Universe

I have never written a Mirror Jhasi/Josie,

Portrait of a Character – Josie O'Connor (Jhasi Tantharis)

but there is no reason why she can’t exist.

She would likely have never wed Kevin, and might never have gotten sick. An intriguing idea that I might explore one of these days.

Quote

“Listen,”I don’t want to be dead and I don’t want you to be gone from our marriage. Kindly do not misunderstand me. But I think, well, it’s an odd gift that you and I have been given here. I feel that we have a chance here. I suppose I have a chance to tell you what I would have always wanted to tell you, under such circumstances.”

Upshot

Much like Kevin Madden-Beckett in Fortune, Josie is a tragic figure. But she had a life before her illness, and even before her marriage. Neither should define her as much as I’ve allowed them to. In order to know Jhasi better, maybe I should write another prequel about her.

Focus – Xindi

Focus – Xindi

Focus – Xindi
Focus!

A focus (unlike a spotlight) is an in-depth look at a Star Trek fanfiction canon item and my twist(s) on it.

In this post, the focus will be on the canon species (or, rather, set of species) from the Enterprise series, called the Xindi.

This species was introduced during the third season of ENT as being the villain species. There were brief sightings in the fourth season, but that’s it. They were new for ENT so of course they weren’t in the earlier series and films, but they didn’t make it into the 2009 film, either.

Canon

In canon, there are five separate species, with a sixth that had gone extinct. The humanoid and sloth (also known as arboreals) were generally the easiest to relate to. The aquatics were interesting and ultimately they were sympathetic. The insectoids were scary but did have some redeeming qualities. The reptilians were nasty but it was eventually just all pinned onto one person. As a set of species, they were eventually rather neatly redeemed.

Aquatics

I mention this species very briefly, during the course of Concord.

Focus – Xindi
Xindi Aquatic

There is a Xindi Aquatic, working with Section 31, who tells Makan Sinthasomphone and Monisha Padir that there is a corpse on the Genesis planet. But that person is only seen briefly and is not even named.

Avians

This species is extinct in canon

Focus – Xindi
Skull of a Xindi Avian

and I don’t mess with that. However, it’s entirely possible that I will eventually write a time travel story where  they are extant.

Humanoids/Primates

Probably the most fully-realized Xindi Humanoids I write are Dayah,

Focus – Xindi
Xindi Primate (Degra)

from Together, and Rellie, from Temper. Perhaps just as oddly is the fact that I have written more fully realized female characters for this species, whereas the best-known canon characters are male.

Dayah is an older woman, who steps up during the confinement in Together. Rellie is a Mirror Universe native and works, in the first alternate timeline, as the manager of the Empress‘s mess.

Insectoids

The most fully-realized characters I have written so far are

Focus – Xindi
Xindi Insectoid

She Who Almost Didn’t Breed In Time, The One Who Fires A Weapon Very Fast and She Who Listens Well.

She Who Almost Didn’t Breed In Time (a wry observation about Lili) is killed by Lili when the NX-01 is boarded. The One Who Fires a Weapon Very Fast is stuck in a lift with Keith Paris in Alien EncounterShe Who Listens Well is a bartender in the nascent Barnstorming series.

Reptilians

My most fully-realized Reptilian

Focus – Xindi
Xindi Reptilian (Dolim)

characters are the chatty teenaged girl Tr’Dorna and the hybrid troubled teenaged boy (he’s also part-human), D’Storlin. Plus there is an unnamed younger male in Achieving Peace, who works in Communications.

I suppose I like my Reptilians as adolescents.

Sloth/Arboreals

I have gotten my best inspiration from this subspecies.

Focus – Xindi
Xindi Arboreal (Jannar)

My first sloth character was Aranda Chara, in The Puzzle, A Tale Told in Pieces. She is a very young child, but the reader still learns that her name contains a matronymic. Furthermore, she has an ill brother and her parents aren’t getting along well. Her mother, the diplomat, Chara Sika, shows up in Achieving Peace.

But the most detailed character is the hybrid (he’s also part-Klingon and part-human), Dr. Boris Yarin. His Russian background also dovetails with the previously mentioned traditional matronymic.

Mirror Universe

As is explained by Doug in Reversal, the Empress committed genocide on the Xindi, so there are few left of any species. Therefore, the abovementioned Rellie is fortunate indeed to have the position that she does. In Temper, Lili witnesses the death of a Xindi sloth when that woman is examined with a radiation band tester and is found to be from our universe, a condition punishable by instant execution.

Upshot

Beyond the novelty value of having several different kinds of sentient and civilized species coming from one planet, the idea of bringing these species into time periods they were never originally in, well, that idea proved irresistible. I do hope they are seen in the next film, as I would hate for this concept to be wiped out. I hope to do a little justice, and continue to keep it alive.

Review – Temper

Review – Temper

Background

Temper was originally created for two reasons.

Review – Temper
Temper

One, I wanted to introduce a way into a vague idea I had for a Star Trek fan fiction time travel series. And two, I wanted to not only continue the story of Doug, Lili, Malcolm, Melissa and Leonora, but I wanted the kids to be older without aging Lili and Doug quite so much. After all, since Doug is fifty-five when he meets Lili, it was pretty obvious that any stories about the children where the children could really interact and be an integral part of the plot would put Doug into his sixties. But a time travel story could rather neatly fix all of that.

Beyond that, I also wanted a way to continue the saga of the Empress Hoshi Sato and her son, Jun, the son of time traveler Richard Daniels. Furthermore, I wanted more kids in the royal family. For the Empress, it would be a Machiavellian move – she would have several children of different fathers, thereby diversifying genetically and, perhaps, given the tenderhearted paternal feelings that go along with the Y Chromosome Skew, she would get the male members of her senior staff to keep her alive, at least until her children reached the age of majority. And in Temper, they are just about all there.

Plot

The story begins with a snapshot into how the arrangement among Malcolm, Lili, Doug, Melissa and Leonora really works. Doug and Melissa are out hunting linfep, and then perrazin, with phase bows. Malcolm and Lili are going on vacation to Fep City. And the children are either with Leonora or are being cared for by Yimar. The occasion is that Melissa wants to have another baby.

But then Malcolm is called away, and Lili comes home early. Time Traveler Richard Daniels arrives and tells her that he needs Doug for something. She’s not so sure she believes him, and is a bit peeved that he’s landed his ship, the brand-new HG Wells, right on top of her day lilies. In order to fix this, he adds a drop of his blood to the soil but does not tell her that it’s spiked with stem cell growth accelerator.

Rick Steps In

When Doug and Melissa get in, and Malcolm is reached via communicator and Leonora arrives separately, Rick tells them why he needs Doug – the Empress is experimenting with what’s called a pulse shot. She’s looking to get over to our side of the pond, because she thinks that she can get more ships like the ISS Defiant.

But her few attempts are clumsy, and they wreak havoc with time itself, causing breaks in 2166 and 2161, including people from our universe crossing over to the Mirror and being trapped there (this includes the three eldest children, Joss, Marie Patrice and Tommy). Rick’s best information is on 2166, so he needs that part repaired first. Doug is the logical choice because, being from the Mirror originally, he sports a radiation band that matches that universe. Lili is chosen to accompany him because she’s considered non-threatening and, with false calloo tattoos on her arms and legs, she can pass for a Calafan. Rick explains that he cannot go as he is forbidden by the Mirror government of his time period. This is due to the debacle about the siring of his son, Jun, which is explained in First Born.

Once Doug and Lili have crossed over, they find a totalitarian regime and just what’s going on with their children.

Music

Temper is less musically-driven than Together, but that makes sense as it is more of an adventure tale than a love story. However, there are still individual themes.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated M.

Upshot

I like, for the most part, how the story turned out, but it is deeper into my universe. Therefore, it can be a confusing read for someone who is not fully familiar with works that cover the earlier time periods. I do make an effort to create stand-alone stories, but I believe that the effect was somewhat mixed here. Temper is usually on the lower end of read counts for the first five big books (Reversal, Intolerance, Together, and Fortune are the other four), along with Intolerance, but in the case of Intolerance, it’s because it’s a shorter book. I suspect that Temper is a bit harder to get into. A pity, as it’s the lead-in for the HG Wells stories.

Portrait of a Character – Izo Sato

Portrait of a Character – Izo Sato

Origins

In canon, at the end of the second Mirror Universe episode in Star Trek: Enterprise, the newly-proclaimed Empress Hoshi Sato has taken a new lover, Travis Mayweather. However, I realized that, in a Machiavellian sense, this would not necessarily be the best move for her, to only be with him, and stay with him. After all, people would be constantly gunning for her – and that’s canon, anyway. Superior officers are always in danger of being knifed or phasered by ambitious underlings.

Hence I decided that a hot, young and round-heeled Empress (also canon) would likely cement her partnerships with her senior staff via the bedroom. If most/all of them are male, all she’s got to do is sleep with them. And with the Y Chromosome Skew, if she gets pregnant by them, they will keep her alive, at least for a while, in order to ensure the continuing survival of their children. Therefore, she’d plan to have several children by the various male members of her senior staff. She selects Travis as a sire last, because she is most confident in his compliance and loyalty. Their son together is Izo.

Izo’s very existence almost does not happen because, during pregnancy, it’s discovered that there is a hole in his heart. The choice is given to Travis – fix the hole and the Empress goes on, or let the Empress die on the table and, presumably, become the next Emperor. Travis doesn’t want to rule and be constantly watching his back and so, in Coveted Commodity, he decides to allow Izo to live, even as Hoshi names the child and Travis has no say in the matter whatsoever.

Portrayal

It’s incredibly difficult to find a part-Asian, part-African actor.

Portrait of a Character – Izo Sato
Matsu as Izo Sato

I selected Matsu from the Japanese singing group, Exile. His real, full name is Toshio Matsumoto.

Matsu is an actor, too, and reportedly has a starring role in a futuristic drama (it’s difficult to get information as a lot of it’s in Japanese, and I have to rely on Google translations). In this video, he’s the guy with the multicolored headband and the dreadlocks: Carry On by Exile.

Personality

Portrait of a Character – Izo Sato
Matsu as Izo Sato

Nasty and bratty, like all six of the Empress’s children, Izo is also dangerous, and grows up to run the Empress’s secret police. In Temper, in the first alternate timeline, he stays out of the fight for Marie Patrice Beckett but he does tangle with someone else.

The name Izo means “iron“, but Izo is far from being honorable or morally strong.

Relationships

According to Richard Daniels, Izo eventually marries in the correct timeline, but he dies childless. I don’t have a name for his wife yet.

Leah Benson

In Bread, it’s 2192, and she’s in her mid-seventies and is a lesbian, but it doesn’t matter, as Izo is interested anyway. Given the lack of women aboard, it would appear that this is either before Izo’s marriage or he is cheating. He’s thirty – she is over twice his age – but he still, at the very least, wants her to service him. Furthermore, he has had several failures and so is looking for what he believes will be a compliant, easy score.

Pamela Hudson

In the first alternate timeline in Temper, once José Torres is killed, Pamela, Blair and Karin are freed and take up with other partners.

Portrait of a Character – Izo Sato
Matsumoto Toshio as Izo Sato

Karin goes with Josh, Blair goes with Dr. Morgan, and Pamela ends up with Izo. Again, she is a lot older than he is – she is over fifty, whereas he is still a teenager. But it does not matter to him. During this alternate, during a Calafan-style dream, Pamela gets a chance to do to Izo what, presumably, most people, both male and female, would want to do.

Prime Universe

Portrait of a Character – Izo Sato
Izo Mayweather Sato

Izo does not have a prime universe counterpart although, like the other Sato offspring, he does have an analogue in the BeckettO’DayMaddenDigiornoReed family. That person is Tommy Digiorno-Madden, as they are both impulsive warrior types.

Quote

“Am I gonna feel good?”

Upshot

I write the Mirror Mayweather as being mainly a loose cannon, although when he learns that Izo has issues in utero, he does go to bat for the child. Izo carries that to the next generation and continues as a difficult thorn in many people’s sides. While Kira and Jun are almost heroes (at least, for people in the Mirror Universe), and Takara and Takeo have a chance to become almost moral, it’s Arashi and Izo who remain villains no matter what.

Recurrent Themes – Scientists

Recurrent Themes – Scientists

Background

Recurrent Themes – Scientists
DNA

Star Trek does not exist without science, and it is of course canon and is terribly important. In addition to canon scientists such as T’Pol, Keiko Ishikawa O’Brien and Spock, my fanfiction also celebrates scientists.

Note – this post will not cover physicians or engineers.

Appearances

In Between Days

Pamela Hudson

During the first temporal dislocation in Temper, she works as the night shift Science Officer on the ISS Defiant, but Pamela‘s main function is to be one of the three playthings for José Torres.

Diana Jones

Diana doesn’t really have much of a defined role in science until the E2 kickbacks. She seems to have a bit of a geology background, as she is the one to comment that, at Amity’s North Pole, there are iron pyrite deposits.

Lemnestra

She is the Ikaaran Science Officer on Verinold and Esilia‘s ship.

Andrew Miller

Andy begins the journey running the Biology Lab, and is responsible, mainly, for alien animal experimentation. When the malostrea are captured, he is one of the people who studies them.

Michelle (Shelby) Pike

Shelby runs the Botany Lab. During  the E2 kickbacks, her work becomes extremely important as she is needed for helping to grow fruits, vegetables and grains.

Preece Ti

This Ikaaran woman is the Science Officer on Ebrona’s ship.

Francisco (Frank) Ramirez

Frank isn’t seen working, but Jenny Crossman notes that he is a planetary geologist studying Saturn’s moon, Enceladus.

Hamilton Roget

He is the Science Officer on the Columbia.

T’Mir Ryan

During the first kickback, she eventually becomes the Science Officer on the Enterprise.

Kira MacKenzie Sato

He’s really the only denizen of the Mirror Universe whose primary function is science (Andy Miller’s counterpart is eventually promoted to the rank of Science Officer, but the reality is that his function is mainly as the Empress‘s bedroom playmate). Kira, who is the second-born son of Empress Hoshi, and the only child of Aidan MacKenzie, is not exactly gifted, and he’s slated for rule anyway, but he does at least perform this underserved function on the other side of the pond.

Lucy Stone

When T’Pol leaves Starfleet (after These Are the Voyages, my assumption is that T’Pol is leaving as it’s too painful for her to stay), Lucy steps in although, according to Day of the Dead, she is already aboard. During the events of Take Back the Night, Lucy studies the Daranaeans.

Nyota Warren

This Science crewman is not as high-ranking as Diana and, as a result, is not placed on the Bridge as often as Diana is.

Times of the HG Wells

Elston McCoy

Never seen, he is a job candidate with a specialty in ancient sciences.

Mixing it Up

Fetlaff

Never seen, he is Rayna Montgomery’s Science teacher.

Upshot

Necessary for any successful mission, scientists are one of the cornerstones of my fan fiction. There will always be more.

Review – Day of the Dead

Review – Day of the Dead

Background

Day of the Dead. More than just a holiday, it also references the horrors of a particularly infamous period is history. On Ad Astra, there was a prompt about the burdens of command.

Review – Day of the Dead
Day of the Dead

I had been kicking around an idea about Tripp Tucker being caught in a temporal interphase (which is canon in Star Trek) and liberating the Dachau concentration camp. Hence I decided to put that together with the prompt.

Tying In

The idea about Dachau was to tie into Milena Chelenska, who is Richard Daniels‘s love interest. For her, there would be a bit of a back story, as Tripp would deal with the problems that come along with witnessing just so much horror.

Furthermore, there would be a tie into Wesley Crusher, as I liked the little family and backstory I had created for him in Crackerjack and wanted to revisit some of that as well.

The backdrop to it would be Halloween, and then the Day of the Dead.

Plot

As Halloween rolls around – and this is the last Halloween of Tucker’s life, although of course he doesn’t know that – Tripp arranges with Chip Masterson to have a number of classic horror films shown. On the actual day, they show John Carpenter’s Halloween.

But before that, the NX-01 goes about some of its regular business. And the reader should be seeing that life is going on, and they are all moving forward with their lives.

Malcolm is on Lafa II with Lili, for Declan‘s birth, and Aidan MacKenzie is running Tactical in his stead. Travis has just met Ellen Warren. Jonathan is talking about his new ship, the Zefram Cochrane. Lucy Stone, the new Science Ensign, is catching the eye of both Andy Miller and Chip Masterson, even though Chip is married to the pregnant Deborah Haddon. In short, everyone is going somewhere. But Tripp Tucker is living in the past.

Movie Night

For Movie Night, he can’t ask either T’Pol or Hoshi to join him, as they are both exes of his. These are references to the Star Trek: Enterprise canon relationship with T’Pol and the fanfiction relationship in Together. But he sees MACO Corporal Amanda Cole, and begins to flirt with her rather openly. Phlox is also present, and they talk about the picture.

But then Commander Tucker vanishes.

Meanwhile – well, meanwhile in the story, but not in history – Wesley Crusher is considering the aftermath of a static warp bubble experiment where his mother, Beverly, could have lost her life. But he’s lost the warp bubble, and doesn’t know where it went.

Coincidence?

Review – Day of the Dead

Nope, it’s just another temporal-spatial-somatic interphase, much as happened in Concord.

So, where does Tucker end up? Why, he’s in the Forty-Second Infantry Division, and it’s April 29th of 1945. They are about to liberate the Dachau concentration camp.

The remainder of the story deals with Tucker’s displacement, getting him back, and how both the NX-01 and the Enterprise-D work to solve their own, respective, problems.

Music

As the plot unfolds, classic spooky music shows up, and each chapter begins and ends with lyrics as follows –

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K+.

Upshot

I added a number of questions about command and promotions, as characters flirt with garnering more responsibility, and how they will deal with such things. In addition, the changes made during the story have the potential to affect the principals for years to come. The burdens of memory and the horrors of war intersect, as Tucker discards his love of horror, and Wesley thinks outside of his own personal bubble, and they both think and act outside themselves.

This story won the challenge; it was my second win (after Paving Stones Made From Good Intentions). I am immensely proud of it, and have featured it in the second Adult Trek Anthology.

Portrait of a Character – Diana Jones

Portrait of a Character – Diana Jones

Origins

This original Star Trek fanfiction character fulfills a few purposes rather neatly. First off, in Reflections Down a Corridor, Entanglements, The Three of Us and Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, there need to be additional people who assist Doctor Phlox with medical matters. Andrew Miller becomes a medic and, eventually, can be called “doctor”. Diana, who also comes from the Science Department, essentially becomes a nurse.

Additionally, I wanted the skewed gender ratio to be even more radically skewed, so there needed to be at least one lesbian. And because life isn’t necessarily fair, Diana would be the only gay woman aboard.

In Bread, I wanted someone for whom Leah Benson – on either side of the pond – might be doing everything for. Furthermore, it would work better for that story if that person was declining. The contrast proved irresistible.

Portrayal

Diana is played by Mira Sorvino.

Portrait of a Character – Diana Jones
Mira Sorvino as Diana Jones

I wanted an older actress who is still very lovely. I feel that this Oscar-winning actress can get across Diana’s shyness about coming out, her desire for a mate and her eventual sad decline.

I also wanted Diana to be someone who the men might be interested in, and a bit disappointed about when they learn that she is not reciprocating the attraction. She would also be someone who gay crew member Preston Jennings would select as a friend and confidante and, truly, as a convincing beard at times.

Personality

Warm and friendly, Diana is a natural for helping out in Sick Bay. In a way, she’s a gay version of Crewman Liz Cutler. Because the actress who played Cutler (Kellie Waymire) is deceased, it’s a bit unclear whether Cutler made it to the kick back in time in E2. I prefer to think that, in the Azati Prime episode, that Cutler was one of the crewmen who perished, as this ties in with reality and brings the loss home even more. Hence there is room for Diana.

The other side of Diana is that she just plain doesn’t want to make a big deal out of her sexuality. To my mind, that works, as this would likely be a society where being gay is far less of a news story than it is now. However, that’s a double-edged sword. Without the drama of coming out, a person with non-majority preferences is apt to have to deal with some confusion unless they’re very demonstrative about what they’re like. Diana isn’t – and she and Malcolm find they have that in common – so she ends up sometimes having to fend off unwelcome male advances.

Relationships

Preece Ti

In The Three of Us, when the first batch of Ikaaran women are rescued, this Science Officer approaches Diana when she realizes that there are two women aboard who do not live with men. The other is Lili, but by that time she’s committed to both Malcolm and Jay. Preece Ti thereby deduces that Diana is a lesbian. They take up together and have a loving, committed relationship until Preece Ti’s eventual death from the decline, thereby somewhat neatly paralleling Diana’s own later years in the prime timeline.

Leah Benson

In both universes, Diana and Leah are, at some point or another, a couple. In our universe, they stay together, even as Diana begins to exhibit symptoms of some form of senility. In the Mirror Universe, Diana leaves when she learns that Leah killed her previous lover, Leonora Digiorno. Moreover, Diana has performed a major service for the Mirror Leah – she’s helped her to stop drinking.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Diana Jones
Diana in the Mirror Universe (Mira Sorvino)

Diana exists in the mirror universe, but is in a far more limited Science capacity. This is not due to a lack of talent; rather, it’s due to the Empress not wanting or needing detailed scientific work.

After Diana breaks up with Leah, she is unceremoniously dumped on Andoria when the Empress becomes displeased with her job performance. She lives there with the same caregiver, the Andorian Tallinaria, who also cares for her in the prime universe.

Quote

“Sorry, Thing Two. I bet you’re still really peeved. We just want to get to know ya.”

Upshot

I liked putting together this friendly if a bit misunderstood character,

Portrait of a Character – Diana Jones

and I was genuinely upset at turning her, eventually, into a person who suffers tremendously toward the end of her life. But this is what happens to some people. It would take the punch out of the decline if she didn’t start out so sympathetically. I do like her. I suppose I’d like her to have a happy ending, but not everyone does, unfortunately.