Also, I updated The All-Stars on Ad Astra. I added an unexpected little In Between Days story, If I Could See. For the Twelve Trials of Triskelion, I posted a Times of the HG Wells story about Richard Daniels‘s many conquests, The Stranger, for the Ficlet Flashdance. I dipped into Captain Sarine’s Restoration universe for a drabble, Appearances.
Please be sure to see the Stats page for individual read and review counts.
So as a part of clearing the decks and prepping for November, I continued editing and polishing the wholly original story, The Badge of Humanity. The Obolonks Murders went in for more beta reading, as did The Polymer Beat. In addition, I had the start of a story for November.
I worked some more on the Barnstorming series in order to work on resolving it, and came up with an idea for another series after that one. I also got some ideas for upcoming writing challenges.
This Month’s Productivity Killers
School, as one semester ended and a new one began.
Release constitutes another play on words. Hence it represents both an end to bondage and a sexual act. And Saddik himself considers the latter before the former.
With the destruction of Vulcan, Vulcans are sought in all sorts of remote places. And this includes prisons.
So in response to a prompt requiring that we write in the Kelvin timeline (sometimes also called nuTrek or the JJ Abrams universe), I made a decision to write about how the creation of a sentient endangered species would be handled.
Hence the story opens with a pair of Vulcan convicts being called into a commandant’s office at Canamar Prison, a canon institution.
They are about to be freed, yet they scarcely know why. All that Commandant Kerig will tell them is that Vulcans are endangered, and the home world is no more. This unsettles Saddik, the elder of the two.
But not so Eriecho, who barely knows anything about Vulcans, or what it means to be one. So as the story continues, her backstory comes to the fore, of her birth on a prison transport. Hence this is the only life she has ever known. Furthermore, the only mother she has ever known was a deceased Suliban woman, H’Shema.
The action follows Eriecho and Saddik off Canamar and to their new home, a sanctuary on Mars. Colonel Jack Shaw is in charge, and he’s ecstatic. Partly it’s because it was his idea to try to find Vulcans in prisons. But it’s also because the rebuilding of the population involves surrogate mothers and as much genetic diversity as possible with the limited remnants of a once-thriving species. Therefore, taking note of the Law of Supply and Demand, Shaw has something that others want. Hence he (and the administrators of the other sanctuaries, on places like Andoria) engages in a barely legal practice – gamete trading.
I really like the idea of the character being cute and not desperate, that she and Bron would enjoy each other’s company and it would not be her settling.
Sweet and caring, Sophra is more mature than most of the other girls in school, who care more for parties and field trips than the heavy lifting of serious relationships.
They meet at Picard High School, and he falls for her, hard. But his roommate, Skrol, tells him that it is impossible, and he should court a Xindi Reptilian girl, like he is with Tr’Dorna. The Sadie Hawkins Day dance is an occasion when Bron can impress, and he does. They begin to date. Bron is certainly more smitten with Sophra than the other way around, at least to start. But she cares and even stands up for him when he meets her parents for the first time and it looks as if he’s blown it.
There are no impediments to Sophra existing in the Mirror Universe.
However, like any other cute girl of any species, she would likely be sexualized rather early. As for a relationship with Bron’s counterpart, it would likely be impossible.
“Don’t you like the middle of the day? When the sun is high up and shadows are close to people? I know that’s the time that I like the best. When the shadow is right there, touching.”
I would love to be able to give Sophra more of a personality. As she currently exists, she is more of a sweet girlfriend and then fiancée than anything else. I would like for this character to have more of an independent existence at some point. Otherwise, she ends up being kind of bland.
A black widow spider represents Pon Farr gone wrong, wrong, wrong.
For a Star Trek fan fiction challenge about “what if”, I decided to take a canon episode into a far different extreme direction.
In the canon episode, Bounty, T’Pol prematurely goes into Pon Farr because of a medical issue (she and Phlox are affected by a microbe).
As a part of the episode, she comes onto Phlox, who rebuffs her, and then tries for Malcolm, who is in a pressure suit, and he rejects her as well, eventually shooting her in the back with a phase pistol and stunning her. Archer comes back (he escapes Tellarite captivity) and all is more or less well.
I decided there would be two major differences. Phlox would succumb to her charms, and Malcolm would miss.
As a result, this changes the dynamic dramatically.
The New Plot
In the new plot, once both of these events occur, T’Pol goes after the first man who can (she hopes) satisfy her urges. And that turns out to be Travis.
When the story opens, Jonathan has just returned. Malcolm greets him at the transporter and tells him that there will be a staff meeting immediately. He informs him of Travis‘s death, and also Brian Delacroix‘s, and that Deb Haddon has been gravely injured. Archer, a bit disoriented and very confused, goes along with this. He sees Malcolm, Hoshi, and Tripp at the meeting. Phlox speaks from Sick Bay.
Archer learns that, after seducing Phlox, T’Pol escaped from decon (the escape is canon, but the seduction failed in canon). Malcolm was there with his team – Brian and Deb. T’Pol came onto Malcolm who rejects her and then, in a rage, she snapped Brian’s neck and shattered Deb’s helmet. A fragment lodges in Deb’s eye, and she is permanently blinded.
And then there’s the matter of Travis. After escaping from that scene, and Malcolm shooting after her but missing, T’Pol confronts Travis in his quarters. She essentially sexually assaults him, and her appetite kills him.
The story continues with Archer confronting her in the Brig, but she is barely competent, and relations with Travis have not satisfied Pon Farr. Hence she will die in a few days if they don’t get her to Vulcan on time.
I really liked the way this one worked out, as I moved from a bewildered Archer to Hoshi with a measure of PTSD, to Malcolm’s disgust and emotional detachment, to T’Pol’s frenzied mania, to Phlox’s shamed confession, to Deb’s acceptance of her fate, to finally communicating with Admiral Forrest and informing him of this big, bad Vulcan secret. I don’t write horror too often, but I think this story turned out well.
In order to resolve the issues in Temper and bring everyone back to the correct side of the pond, I needed for there to be some way to signal Richard Daniels.
I particularly wanted to make the technology not look like anything special, and have it potentially work in other areas of Star Trek fan fiction, in case I ever needed it again. I am not a big fan of technobabble, so I wanted the technology to not turn into something that the typical reader would not understand. While it is not necessarily the most plausible piece of fictional technology out there, it is certainly easy to understand without having to go into any long, drawn-out explanations.
An Idea for a Dark Matter Flare
Hence I hit upon the idea of Christmas crackers, except these would be black.
Doug is given a pair of these before he and Lili are sent forward in time and to the Mirror Universe. The first one is a signal to Rick Daniels to bring them from the Mirror to the Prime Universe and also back from 2178 to 2166. The second dark matter flare used is to signal Rick to bring the family back from 2166 to 2161. However, in the second instance, the only traveling is in time. This is because the family is already on the correct side of the pond.
I like the idea of something so small and simple. Adding to the dramatic tension is the tiniest sound of snapping. Lili and Doug can barely hear it, and it almost feels as if it did not work. But Rick senses it with his far more sensitive instruments. These little devices get the family home.
Now I am wondering where I can possibly use them again.
When I began to develop the Times of the HG Wells series, I created a number of characters which could be called upon at various times. One was an animals whisperer, a holdover from when I had created a wholly original time travel series. Enter Greg Shaw.
I like this smart, attractive actor. I just wish I had used the character more. As things currently stand, he is barely shown, and I should rectify that.
Gentle with animals and understanding of them, Greg is essentially just a really good guy. However, when time is altered, he becomes Pope Gregory XXXII in The Point is Probably Moot.
Gregory has no known relationships in either universe.
There are really no impediments to Gregory existing in the Mirror Universe.
Because there would be no need whatsoever for an animals whisperer there, even in the very deep future (after all, that is a universe with multiple extinctions, including giraffes, as is noted in Temper), I can see him as being more sophisticated. It is also unlikely that he would be Pope or a religious man as religion would generally be seen as being a kind of devotion in direct conflict with the required devotion to be given to the Emperor or other leaders (as Empress Hoshi had required, in Bread).
So, what does Gregory do? He might be an artist and, therefore, an elite. Or maybe he would be yet another soldier or security officer. I don’t see him as being a misplaced idealist like Anthony Parker.
Quote (not a direct quote)
Pope Gregory XXXII today announced that meatless Fridays are back in effect. All believers are advised to shop for fish or vegetarian specialties on Thursdays, so as to be prepared.
This descendant of Colonel Jack Shaw and Juliet Parker has had almost no screen time. I should rectify that.
For a Star Trek fan fiction prompt about memory, I decided to write about a memorial service.
At the time, I had written very little of anyone’s later years. Pamela in particular was young and vibrant in my stories.
The story begins with a young man going to a podium. But the speech he is giving is a eulogy. And he isn’t even human. He’s Treve, but he’s not Pamela’s husband. Instead, he is her nephew, named after the first Treve, who is long dead.
As the eulogy is delivered, the action pans around to the younger generation. Joss and Jia are there with Jay (who is there with his own wife and children) and Shaoqing.
Neil is with both Ines and Yinora, and it is established that Treve is Yinora’s son. Tommy is there, in uniform. As always, Tommy is by himself. Marie Patrice is there, too, as is Declan with Rebecca and their two boys.
As the panning continues, the reader is shown a large image of Pamela in younger years, as drawn by Declan. I really love this drawing of Kaley Cuoco and think is captures the essence of both the character and the actress.
As the younger Treve speaks, he reveals a bit about Pamela’s later life. He reveals to the family that she had been abused as a child by her father, but that the elder Treve had accepted and loved her and helped her to heal. As a middle-aged widow, Pamela essentially half-adopted the younger Treve, as she had no children of her own. She would take him skiing on Charon or to her old stomping grounds in New Hampshire. I saw her as being a bit like Auntie Mame. Treve even reveals her last word, which was his name. He believes she was referring to the elder, but it’s possible she was talking about him. The matter has never been resolved, and I like it that way.
This actress has been in a number of different productions on television and seems to be rather versatile.
A bit of a cypher, Mara seems to be the kind of person who acts first and thinks later. Her husband’s own description of her is that she is in denial. She is an engineering crewman and is never promoted during the E2 timeline. I haven’t decided if she does any better during the prime timeline.
During Entanglements, they marry, but she strays. In The Three of Us, when she has what they both believe to be their child, the baby’s skin is darker than expected and so it is obvious that the child is not Robert’s.
The man who Mara has been sleeping with is Walter. Because of the cuckolding, their child, Jeffrey Woods, has his blood tested in order to assure paternity with 100% accuracy. This leads Shelby to suggest that all of the children be tested, so that paternity can be perfectly known. Phlox agrees with her, as the gene pool is so small that the only way it can all work out genetically is if the parties who have children together are as distantly related as possible.
Movie Night, of course, is canon. In November of 2159, Malcolm takes Melissa to Movie Night.
In response to a Star Trek fan fiction prompt about fraternizing, I decided to go with a date that would not really be a date at all. Instead, it is a bit of a cover. Melissa is pregnant with Tommy, but has not yet been ordered off the Enterprise. But that time is drawing nearer. Melissa’s plan is to go home to Ceres and Norri and await Tommy’s birth there.
The story opens with Malcolm carefully getting ready for the evening. But he then smacks his own forehead – he’s forgotten the flowers.
So he visits Shelby Pike in Botany and she makes him a colorful bouquet with the understanding that the flowers and the ribbon can be any color except for blue. Hence it should be obvious to sharp-eyed readers that this is a reference to Lili. I also spell out that the date is not with his true beloved.
While in the lift with Tripp, Tucker asks if he and Melissa are getting serious. Therefore, Malcolm confides that it is all for show, and he is taking care of her as a friend (and as a part of the Doug/Lili open marriage arrangement), but he does not have romantic feelings for Melissa.
However, he arrives to find the door to her quarters locked, but he can hear Melissa retching. He uses (rather, he oversteps, really) his authority and bypasses the lock. He holds back the flowers, unsure if they will set her off again. Then he also scolds her, and then realizes that that is not his place. Not his child, not his girl. A bit tentative, she insists on going out, and the story ends with them going to see Stalag 17 together.
I liked the little touches in this one, as Malcolm seems like he is suiting up for a date, to Melissa’s complaining about being sick all the time, to the colors in the bouquet and then the film, which is also referenced in Day of the Dead.