Portrait of a Character – Bernardine (Bernie) Keating-Fong
During Intolerance, I needed someone who would be a kind of chaperone to Pamela, Blair, Will, Mark, and An. Her name had to be gender-neutral. Her surname, like a lot of the other names in that story, evokes Dominic Keating’s earlier career. The Fong portion is a nod to another original character of mine, pop star Kurt Fong. I like to think that she is his sister-in-law.
Bernie is played by actress Michelle Yeoh.
Extremely intelligent and knowledgeable, Phlox refers to her as a specialist in ancient diseases, a statement that she does not dispute. Until it was time to write others’ universes, I did not really have a role for her beyond Intolerance. However, I had occasion to write a crossover work called Bomb(e) and made her the physician on the NX-04 Ariane. In that story, which is played a lot more for laughs, Dr. Keating-Fong ends up treating a patient who may or may not have planted a bomb on board in order to scare off Romulans who have boarded that ship.
Bernie has no known relationships in either universe.
There are no impediments to Bernie existing in the Mirror Universe.
Because medical care is so devalued over there, as are women, I like to think that she would be tougher. She would have to be, particularly as she aged.
“Naurr, listen to me very carefully. You’re the chef on the Ariane. We’re at war with the Romulans. And I hardly think you were making bombs.”
Now that I’ve put her on the Ariane, I suppose she can have some other adventures. Who knows? Maybe I’ll even show her with Kurt.
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