Portrait of a Character – Meredith Porter
Because the E2 stories were written after the Times of the HG Wells series, there were some characters in the later in time series who I wanted to have ancestors on the NX-01. One of those was Polly Porter. Hence she would have a consanguineous (e. g. not direct) ancestor, Meredith Porter.
I love the fact that she is a beautiful older woman and she’s put on a few pounds. After all, not every person’s body looks the same, forever.
Meredith is over forty in the E2 stories, and should look it.
Cautious and by the book, Meredith is more above board than the others in Where No Gerbil Has Gone Before. However, she is charged with running the prototype transporter for a somewhat delicate procedure, and is then mortified when she thinks she’s broken it.
She does not open up until, in The Three of Us, Jonathan Archer looks for someone to help Victor Brown with the announcing and to sing at the start of the baseball game. She presumably volunteers, and may even have auditioned. The process is not shown, but she is still chosen. She sings Take Me Out to the Ballgame and America the Beautiful. This is when she’s noticed. She has, after all, been overlooked by a lot of the men, who think she’s past her childbearing years. But she isn’t.
When this MACO realizes she can sing, he approaches her and tells her he has a guitar, and offers to play for her in his quarters.
She puts him off, not wanting to go so fast. He hits upon an idea, and tells her that he will bring the guitar to the Observation Lounge, and he’ll play. She can join in, or not, or even mock him, but he figures anything is positive, except for her either leaving or not showing up at all.
After a few days, she shows up, and they sing This Land is Your Land together.
They marry in both kick backs in time and, both times, they have a son who they name Nicholas.
They sing and play much like a coffeehouse act, but their performances are much rarer in Everybody Knows This is Nowhere.
In Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses, she is also mentioned as studying the transporter, and she is the one to transport Dr. Morgan aboard the Defiant. However, she is otherwise not really seen or heard from.
“We didn’t think it made any sense to sing an anthem, so instead I’m gonna sing ‘America the Beautiful’, even though not everyone is from there and this place certainly, er, isn’t America. But it is beautiful here.”
By the time I had finished writing the E2 stories, I found myself really rooting for Meredith, and wanting for the character to have a happy ending. I imagine I’ll write that at some point.