All posts by jespah

Shuttlepod pilot, fan fiction writer, sentient marsupial canid.

Review – Cough

Review – Cough

Cough
In Between Days banner

Background

Cough? It seems such an unpromising word. Yet there was a call for a drabble with this word as its title. Hence I decided to revisit Penicillin. And my idea was to write a far shorter version of the same story. So this was to get it in front of a different readership.

Plot

When Lili sees Jay coughing in the hallway of the NX-01, he quickly covers it up. But she realizes he is sick and so she makes some chicken soup to treat his symptoms.

But there’s just one catch for Jay. Lili wants payment. And her payment isn’t in the form of money. Instead, it’s for him to smile more. While he agrees to do so, there is a slight difference between Cough and Penicillin. Unlike in the longer story, Jay briefly turns out his pockets. I feel it’s a nice little touch which gives him some personality, e. g. that he’s in a bit of a joking mood despite them being at war, and foreshadows the relaxed loving relationship they will have.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

Drabbles are tiny and they often suffer because of that. And this one is no exception. So while I love the Penicillin story (and it turned out to be a linchin in the E2 storyline), the drabble version just plain isn’t as good. Therefore, there’s just no chicken meat on those bare bones.

However, the readers did like the story. Hayes is an enigma, even to his creators and to his actor. Hence I feel any insight into his character is generally going to be welcome. Otherwise, he is simply a cipher.

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Portrait of a Character – Freela

Portrait of a Character – Freela

Origins

Because Gina and Gabrielle Nolan were alone, and the seven stages of grief were finished, I decided I wanted their lives to go on in a somewhat unexpected manner. As a result, Kittriss and Freela were born. Freela was a linchpin character in the story line. Without her, Gabby and Gina never hear a crying child, and Gina and Kit never meet. So Freela is important to the series.

Portrayal

Freela
Saoirse Ronan as Freela (image is provided for educational purposes)

Freela is played by actress Saoirse Ronan. And this talented Irish-American actress is a two-time Academy Award nominee, as of the writing of this blog post. Much like is the case with Kittriss, I wanted Freela to not be the big, dominating warrior-type Klingon.

Personality

When we first meet Freela, she is an artistically talented first grader who commemorates her mother’s death in the Dominion War with an eerily accurate painting. And this eventually leads her (presumably) to drafting and then eventually to study engineering. So this talented and sensitive Klingon will not become a warrior; instead, she will become a builder and a designer.

However, she also expresses some anti-Breen prejudice, even as she fully accepts Gina and Gabby as new members of her family.

Relationships

Freela has no known relationships.

Mirror Universe

A Mirror version of Freela is impossible, as the Dominion War does not seem to have happened on the other side of the pond.

Quote

“You know, capital buildings and bridges, but also public monuments. There’s, um, there’s a monument to the honored dead from the Breen Attack on Earth. It’s being built on Keto-Enol. We’ve been studying it; it’s a steel and glass structure made to look like thousands of birds flying up into the sky.

The bottom is tall and wide enough for a class to fit underneath. Under it, the names of the honored dead are to be etched, and they can be highlighted either randomly or as the observer wants to see. So, if you wanted to only read human names, you could, or the victims who were in Paris or the like. And the whole thing is to be made of debris from San Francisco and Beijing and even from ships that crashed that day, that sort of thing. Mother’s name will be etched underneath, as will that of Michael Nolan, Gabby’s Dad.”

Upshot

Although she demonstrates some anti-Breen prejudice in Wider Than the Sargasso Sea, Freela is essentially a decent person. Furthermore, she is the only sister Gabby really has. And the two women love each other as much as biological sisters often do.

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Review – Brazen

Review – Brazen

Brazen
In Between Days

Background

Brazen is a kind of odd duck story. It does not really go along with anything I have written.

The idea was a drabble (a drabble is a very short story that has to be exactly one hundred words long) based upon the title word.

Of course, most people do not see the word in any context other than ‘hussy’. Hence I went with that.

Plot

Breaking my own fan canon, I told a short tale of Malcolm Reed bringing home a decidedly different girlfriend from Lili. Truth is, this could have been Ruby Brannagh. After all, their ‘relationship’ is a canon one.

Furthermore, just like in my fan canon, I made the girlfriend pregnant. Because I like to dicker with Reed and give him a child born out of wedlock. The truth is, I have never given him a fully conventional relationship where marriage comes before children.

However, the story is told from the unnamed woman’s point of view. And she is a bit tearful. Furthermore, the drabble makes it clear that she has at least made an effort. While she has already asked what to do which would impress the Reeds, Malcolm’s silence on the matter does not help.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K+.

Upshot

As any drabble, the story is just plain too short to have any real substance. Furthermore, it does not fit in with any of my fan canon. However, the concept of placing this within the Mirror Universe (and, therefore, Ian Reed rather than Malcolm) could really flip the story. If that is the case, then the woman could be a Mirror Ruby (I have never written her) or even Mirror Universe Liz Cutler. After all, I have already written her. Plus at the time of Ian’s death in Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses, Beth (AKA Liz in our universe) does Ian a brief, final kindness. Readers have suggested there was a prior relationship there.

Maybe this is it.

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Portrait of a Character – Mark Stone

Portrait of a Character – Mark Stone

Origins

Mark Stone is a part of the shenanigans going on during IntoleranceI wanted someone who would be out of the heterosexual romantic sweepstakes. Mark Stone fit the bill nicely. Furthermore, he is the last of the guest characters (except, I believe, for a Vulcan seen in communications only) from that book.

Portrayal

Mark Stone
Hugh Grant as Mark Stone (image is presented for educational purposes only)

Mark Stone is played by actor Hugh Grant. While I like this seemingly charming, handsome actor, he’s really too old for the role. And I didn’t even necessarily ‘hear’ Mark’s voice with a British accent at first.

Personality

Brittle, privileged, and arrogant, Mark has no time for the likes of Pamela Hudson or even Blair Claymore. However, his studious nature does not get him to the top his class; that honor belongs to An Nguyen (this is established in The Cure is Worse than the Disease). Mark is also the son of Emily Stone. Sharp-eyed readers will recognize her from Achieving Peace, where she works as an ambassador, alongside fellow ambassador, the Xindi sloth, Chara Sika. Furthermore, Emily’s assistant is Laura Hayes. However, let’s get back to Mark.

Relationships

Mark has no known relationships. Because this is a gay character, his options are rather different from heterosexual characters’. Maybe he hooked up with Frank Todd, or Preston Jennings, or Dave Constantine, or Luke Donnelly while he and his class were on board the Enterprise. That’s a pretty good idea and I might pursue it at some point in time.

Mirror Universe

Mark exists in the Mirror Universe and becomes Empress Hoshi’s Chief Medical Officer, succeeding Cyril Morgan (in the Prime Universe, I don’t follow through on Mark’s career, although he loses out on the Columbia CMO job to An). Because Mark is gay, that shields him from the Empress’s advances – for the most part – and often from her wrath. Since she does not see him as a potential sexual partner, she can remain intrigued with a good-looking man without getting tired of him.

Medical care in the Mirror is primitive at best. Hence Mark ends up handling a far more mundane but absolutely necessary task – helping to rid the Defiant of the mice that have bred since the end of Reversal. As a result, he keeps snakes in cages. During the last few HG Wells stories, the cages are opened, and the ensuant chaos helps Mark, Aidan, Susan, and others assert themselves against the Empress.

Quote

“You are not gonna screw up my career.”

Upshot

When I write these blog posts, I often consider new ways to write characters. And this post and this character are not exceptions. After all, this was essentially the ‘odd man out’ character in Intolerance, and he proved a convenient character for the Wells series. However, he might be strong enough for his own novel.

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Review – Advice from My Universes to Yours

Review – Advice from My Universes to Yours

Advice
Advice from My Universes to Yours

Background

Advice for all! Well, kinda.

As a holiday gift, I decided to put together a number of disparate characters. Since these are characters of my own invention, I could and did have them say nearly anything. The idea would be to act as a kind of helpful team but with the same quirkiness a reader might have come to expect.

Plot

Six characters land in some odd place. And for sharp-eyed readers, they might recognize a similarity to The Puzzle. This was deliberate, as I wanted a storyline similar to Travis‘s. Furthermore, I have far better writing skills than I did then. Hence I felt this would be a better story, and I believe that to be the case.

Background

When Jay and Lili (in the prime timeline), Dratha, Eriecho, Levi, and Branch land, they have no idea what is in store for them.  Because this takes place more or less right after Penicillin, Jay is still rather gruff but he’s trying. For Levi and Branch, this is later in their timelines. Eriecho is already on Mars. And Dratha’s husband, Arnis, is already incarcerated.

Serious Help

The characters then proceed to help out ten characters created by others. The first is kes7’s John Quigley, who gets help (sort of) in his love triangle. Then Bethany Reeves (trekfan’s character) is up, and the characters talk to her about her parents separating in one of the few serious vignettes. The next caller is Jessica St. Peter (Templar Sora’s character), and the so-called experts kind of, sort of, help her with asserting authority.

Not So Serious Help

For Andrew Corrigan (SLWalker’s character), it’s all about how to spend his first date with Abby (I managed to get in a sushi as bait joke).  Aurellan Markalis (Enterprise1981’s character) also has a problem with a date but it was probably, the advisers agree, for the best that it ended early. Srena (CeJay’s character) comes up next. She is told how to create a calming ritual to help her get to sleep at night.

Mysterious Help

Then Jasto Dax (CaptainSarine’s character) calls. While most of the group doesn’t even know what a Trill is, Dratha provides good information about how to essentially pick your battles. She tells him not to answer every single summons. The next caller is Dr. Veronica West (thebluesman’s character); she learns she should become more creative. Then Spock calls (while this is a canon character, the gift was for littleblackdog) about a canon situation, the end of the TOS episode, Requiem for Methuselah. The last caller is Emmylou Galyaski (FalseBill’s character). She talks about mourning her late husband and, in their own odd ways, the so-called experts help, at least a bit.

Departures

Then it’s time to leave. Dratha volunteers to go first as it looks dangerous. Eriecho leaves next. Jay and Lili leave together and she touches his arm. Then Branch and Levi depart, and the following graffiti is shown:

As the last of the reluctant travelers/advisors departs, the room disappears and is swallowed into the vast vacuum of space, leaving but one final thought.

 Happy holidays across all galaxies, all timelines, all universes and all realities.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I liked showing off the weird characters and trying to get them to work together. As a bonus, I was able to cross over just a little bit with others’ works.

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Progress Report – March 2017

Progress Report – March 2017

March 2017 ended up as yet another quiet month for Star Trek fanfiction writing.

Posted Works

March 2017
First of all, on the G & T Show forums, I posted nothing. Because at that site, the forums were removed a few months ago, due to the influx of spammers. And at this moment in time, the replacement blogs have not yet been created or started. Hence, still nada!

However, at this time, I still have no replacement, and neither do they. Therefore, I posted very few stories and, as a result, the read counts did not advance too much.

And on Fanfiction.net, during March 2017, I continued to post The Point is Probably Moot.

Finally, on Wattpad, I finished You Mixed-Up Siciliano and added Souvenirs. Also, I started to post the next fanfiction piece from The Times of the HG Wells. And that turned out to be Spring Thaw. And on the @WattNaNo side of things, I completed How to NaNoWriMo.

Milestones

See the Stats page for individual read and review counts.

WIP Corner

Because I finished and won NaNoWriMo in 2016, I sent The Real Hub of the Universe our for beta reading. And that has proven more difficult as usual, as people are just plain busy. Furthermore, this wholly original science fiction work takes place in Victorian Boston. As a result, I have been working on outlining the first sequel. However, I would like to put off writing the second book until I get at least a modicum of feedback on the first one, and that has proven elusive.

Also, the editing for The Enigman Cave is finished and it is ready for querying. However, it has been hard to get psyched up to do that. It can sometimes be difficult to be able to mentally handle what can often be a lot of rejection.

Prep Work

I next created a Wattpad draft for the following fanfiction piece from The Times of the HG Wells. And that turned out to be Where the Wind Comes Sweepin’ Down the Plain.

This Month’s Productivity Killers

As always, sometimes the muse just takes a vacation. And that can be extremely frustrating! I ended up working for four separate companies and that, of course, made me rather busy indeed. Furthermore, I wanted to take something of a break. The Real Hub needs editing and beta reading, and that means I need to take any changes into consideration before I can really get started on the sequel. In addition, I got psyched up to query The Enigman Cave as it is ready and all I really need to do is pull the trigger.

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Portrait of a Character – Sarek

Portrait of a Character – Sarek

Sarek Origins

Sarek the character is, of course, canon.

Sarek Portrayal

Sarek
Ben Cross as Sarek (image is provided for educational purposes only).

As in canon, Sarek is played by Ben Cross when younger and, when older, by Mark Lenard.

Personality

Relationships

Amanda Grayson

The Sarek and Amanda marriage in TOS is perhaps the best-realized love relationship ever in the history of Star Trek. Even though he is emotionally unavailable to Spock (and probably also to Sybok), the same cannot be said of Amanda. Because Vulcans have touch telepathy, and they are often touching, they must be sharing their thoughts nearly all of the time.

Perrin

After Amanda’s death in the prime timeline, Sarek eventually weds Perrin, another human. Because he is older, she is a lot more protective of him and, perhaps, a little too much so.

Mirror Universe

Sarek must exist in the Mirror Universe because Spock does.

Sarek
Mark Lenard as Mirror Universe Sarek (actually, this is an image of the actor as a Romulan Commander; image is provided for educational purposes only).

Like most denizens of the Mirror, he is tougher and is probably more emotional than a Vulcan should be. The idea is interesting and I might write it.

Quote

Sarek
Mark Lenard as Sarek (image is provided for educational purposes only).

“I see the humans are mostly on one side, and my fellow Vulcans are on your own side. Yet this dinner, and this week, they have been set aside for you to meet one another. And you are not doing so. And I have been speaking with two persons who were wrongfully sent to Canamar Prison. And you apparently rarely speak with them as well.

“I understand that there is an Earth saying. It is something like this – beggars cannot be choosers.

“And my understanding of what that signifies is that we are a small band. And we have few options for meeting others. The humans and our other allies have done what they can in order to accommodate and assist us. For without them, we would be most vulnerable. And our species, I am certain, we would die out. For our natural processes, they are slow. I have heard humans refer to Vulcan customs about marriage as moving at a glacial pace. And that is true. But the glaciers, they must be rushed. And wombs must be rented. And we must live in places such as this, for our own safety, and to make friendships among our people. And to, perhaps, meet new mates….

“My understanding is that this is a holiday for family. And our families have all been sundered. And so we must make new ones. And they might have red or blue blood, rather than green, in their veins. They might have emotions. They might eat meat. But consider this. …

This is my child! He is a Vulcan! And it is he who will help to rebuild our race. He and thousands like him are our future! And these good people, they are, they are no replacement for the ones who are gone. But they are my family now, if they will have me.”

Upshot

As an indispensable part of JJ Abrams universe, this character is also a necessary component of Eriecho’s world. He might even go to her wedding.

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Review – Paradox

Review – Paradox

Paradox – boy, are we ever in trouble!

Paradox Background

Deep Future - Paradox
Deep Future – Paradox

As a part of a Star Trek fanfiction competition, fellow writer kes7 and I decided to collaborate on this time travel mayhem-style crossover novel. Levi, the most squirrelly and ADHD-addled person in history, nervous and quirky to a fault, would be tasked with saving humanity.

By having to be socially acceptable or at least in the realm of socially competent.

Yeah, I agree.

We’re doomed.

Plot

In which humanity’s survival depends on Levi Cavendish’s social skills. Takes place in 3110.

kes7’s original character, Maren O’Connor (who we decided would be related to Kevin), and canon character Icheb, are an item in her universe. At this stage in their development, they are building their own time traveling device. But this is rather early in the engineering process, and the device is imperfect. It threatens the multiverse and humanity (because why not make the stakes super-high?) and the Temporal Integrity Commission has got to stop them.

Reluctantly, Carmen sends Levi and Otra. Otra is not allowed to go to the surface but she can communicate directly through Levi’s implanted communicator. As she feeds him information, he becomes even more confused. It does not help that he is being flirted with, big time, by a girl named Marci. Which is Levi’s mother’s name.

It helps even less that Otra has finally realized that she is in love with him.

Awkward!

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

We had a lot of fun writing this one, but we will both admit our resolve sometimes wanes. The story remains unfinished after a few years. We need to finish this one. I want to know what happened. Don’t you?

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Portrait of a Character – T’Pring

Portrait of a Character – T’Pring

T’Pring is a cypher and a blank slate. Everybody seems to want to put their own spin on her. I have seen her portrayed as a Federation traitor and as a lesbian. I like the idea of a different take on her.

T’Pring Origins

T'Pring
Arlene Martel as T’Pring (image is provided for educational purposes only).

Portrayal

As in canon, T’Pring is played by actress Arlene Martel. I have no idea who would play her as a young girl; it would have to be someone with similar exotic looks and ice queen appeal.

Personality

Emotionless and perhaps cold, T’Pring is a classic Vulcan woman. She knows what she wants and she is not afraid to go out and get it. This is her plan, no matter the cost.

Relationships

Spock

As in canon, T’Pring and Spock are promised to each other. They barely know each other. For a half-human, that should be intolerable, but it is not Spock who initially objects to their union; it’s T’Pring. And so she carries on what is essentially an affair until she can be freed from her obligation.

Stonn

In These Are the Destinations, T’Pring and Stonn know each other earlier. As a part of that story line, they are to get together (except I have not yet finished that story!).

One question I have about canon is – just how complicit was Stonn in the Amok Time scheme to either kill Spock or Kirk?  Is she just evil, or was he her willing co-conspirator?

Mirror Universe

T’Pring could, I feel, exist in the Mirror Universe.

T’Pring
Arlene Martel as Mirror Universe T’Pring (image is provided for educational purposes only).
I write Mirror Universe women as being as ruthless as she seems to be in the prime universe. She would be in need of someone like Stonn. Or maybe she really does become Spock’s bride in the MU. That is an intriguing idea, and I just might write it.

Quote

“This is going to be so dull.”

Upshot

T’Pring would be an especially interesting character to explore in the Eriecho/JJ Abrams universe. I have tried to stay away from ‘small universe’ syndrome there, where everyone is related or close or there are far too many coincidences to be believable. Hence it might be a little much for T’Pring to exist there. Then again, if I pair her up with Sybok, that could really get things rollicking.

Now that is one hell of a plot bunny.

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Review – Dear Naurr, Dear Lili

Review – Dear Naurr, Dear Lili

Dear Naurr – Can I help you with cooking? I’m willing to help. Let me know. – Lili

Dear Naurr, Dear Lili Background

Dear Naurr, Dear Lili
Dear Naurr, Dear Lili

After seeing Naurr the Cajun Caitian chef for the first time, I was hooked. The best part about him, to my mind, beyond the fact that he was a walking mass of malapropisms and weird immigrant-style unfounded assumptions, was that he was native to the ENT time frame.

That meant he was alive at the same time as Lili. I hit upon the idea of Lili giving him a little friendly advice. I had already answered the letters from home prompt, but I gave it another go and this one proved to be just as satisfying albeit rather different.

Plot

On February 17, 2158, Lili gives a little advice to a new chef.

Married to Doug and pregnant with Joss, not to mention opening up Reversal on Lafa II, Lili is one busy lady. But she needs to confide a bit in someone. Treve, her business partner, has a friendly ear but he is not a chef. Lili needed someone who could more or less understand about recipes. This person would also understand some of her cooking frustrations.

Further, the story provided an opportunity to revisit a favorite time period, where Doug and Lili are newlyweds and it is before Malcolm and the beginning of the open marriage and what they, along with Melissa and Norri, refer to as the arrangement. Sometimes, it’s good to just write a far simpler relationship scheme.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I really enjoyed getting them together, at least virtually by means of an essentially epistolary novel. This led to Bomb(e) as a sequel.
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