jespah

Shuttlepod pilot, fan fiction writer, sentient marsupial canid.
Shuttlepod pilot, fan fiction writer, sentient marsupial canid.

Portrait of a Character – Michelle (Shelby) Pike

Portrait of a Character – Michelle (Shelby) Pike

Origins

Keiko Ishikawa O’Brien of TNG and DS9 is a Botanist. Because the NX-01 has real food cooked by a real chef, and it is out there far earlier in time, I figured they had to have someone growing food plants. And, perhaps, studying alien vegetation. Hence I decided there would be a Botanist on board. In my older story, If You Can’t Stand the Heat, the Botanist is named Naomi Curtis. But that is intended to be a different person, and that story has been reworked in order to fit into my regular universe. It now takes place not too long after the initial launch of the Enterprise, and Naomi is meant to be a character replaced at the start of the Xindi war, much like Lili is brought in, to replace Chef’s three helpers. You need room for MACOs on the NX-01, and more skilled people need to be brought on so that there can be fewer of them. Hence Naomi leaves.

As for her name, Shelby’s name is a perfect blending of two canon characters (Commander Elizabeth Shelby from TNG and Captain Christopher Pike from TOS). However, I didn’t name her because of that. It’s just a happy coincidence.

Actually, Shelby was a part of a small universe of original stories I worked on over twenty years ago, which were murder mysteries set in and around Boston. Shelby was supposed to be our heroine’s boyfriend’s impossibly beautiful ex. She was also supposed to be darker-skinned, but was still African-American. And she was a ballet student. Hence the Shelby Pike of my Star Trek: fan fiction is a former ballerina in the Prime Universe.

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – Michelle (Shelby) Pike

Young Shelby (Erica Gimpel)

Unlike most characters, Shelby is portrayed by two separate people. As a young girl, I see Erica Gimpel from Fame. I well recall seeing this actress – this was the first time I had ever seen a ballerina who was not Caucasian, and she stuck with me.

I had a vision of a stick thin young girl dedicated to her craft.

Portrait of a Character – Michelle (Shelby) Pike

Adult Shelby (Aesha Ash)

But then personal disaster strikes, and she blows out her knee, and has to quit dancing. What to do? Shelby goes back to college, and gets hooked on plants. She becomes a Botanist, never dreaming that that would get her into space. For an adult Shelby, I chose ballerina Aesha Ash.

Either way, Shelby is delicate and beautiful.

Personality

Friendly and smart, Shelby keeps to herself quite a bit of the time. It’s a necessity when your closest companions, most of the time, are living things that cannot speak. She is unused to formal meetings, so she ends up embarrassingly raising her hand during the meeting shown in Shell Shock. She is more than competent, and Malcolm brings her on board the USS Bluebird where she continues to work as a Botanist.

Relationships

José Torres

During Temper, it’s revealed that they dated. Due to the height difference, Malcolm and Lili joke that the mechanics are somewhat confusing. At the end of the E2 stories, José reveals that he’s considering asking her out.

Travis Mayweather

In Fortune (and earlier, in Apple, which takes place during Reversal), Shelby makes the first moves with Travis. However, by the time of the events of Equinox, he has instead married a woman named Ellen Warren (also referenced in Day of the Dead).

Andrew Miller

In the E2 stories, because the kick backs in time occur before Lucy Stone joins the crew, Andrew and Shelby get together in both iterations. As two mid-level Science people, they have a lot in common and are thrown together quite a bit whenever the full senior staff meets.

Doug Hayes

In the Mirror Universe, Doug reveals Shelby’s background to Lili, and notes that, while he often had girlfriends during the time he knew her (including the Redheaded Bombshell, Jennifer Crossman), he would inevitably cheat on all of them with Shelby, and that there was just something about her that appealed to him, and he was incapable of staying away.

Francisco (Frank) Ramirez

By the time of The Point is Probably Moot, they are together and are trying to figure out how to get away from the Empress Hoshi Sato. For that couple, they cannot be open about their relationship, so life is filled with stolen moments. In Bread, they’re almost caught.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Michelle (Shelby) Pike

Mirror Shelby (Erica Gimpel)

For the Mirror, I’m back to Erica Gimpel portraying Shelby. Because no one cares about Botany, she works as a pilot. And because no one cares about ballet there, her earlier profession was far different.

Doug confirms that she worked as a prostitute, and more or less still did, when he knew her.

Doug notes that there were ways to see her without really being with her, and is essentially describing the future Mirror Universe take on phone sex.

Quote

“I have pumpkins ripening in the Botany Lab. They’re so pretty. Would you, uh, want to see them some time?” 

Upshot

I was thrilled to be able to reuse this character and change her up. I like that she brings a little art and culture to the NX-01 (much like Chip Masterson does) and the USS Bluebird (like Declan Reed‘s drawings do, too). I’m also enjoying getting to know her as a person, and giving her more dimensions than she had in my failed fiction from two decades ago. I’m sure I’ll continue to learn more about Shelby.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Hall of Mirrors, In Between Days series, Portrait, Times of the HG Wells series, 27 comments

Inspiration – Exercise

How does Exercise fit in with Creation?

For the past five years, I have become much more of an exercise devotée. I had needed to lose a lot of weight and, through exercise in part, I was able to accomplish that. Hence working out has become a part of my life.

A lot of that comes in the form Naomi Watts walking exerciseof walking. And by walking around, I see things that I otherwise would not.

And that can sometimes bring on some unexpected inspiration.

Walkabout

For Boris Yarin, I grabbed his name from the Toyota Yaris. I have no particular affection for this car. It just so happened to be a name plate that I saw over and over again for a while there.

Daranaeans are mainly inspired by various dogs I’ve met in my travels.

Exercise also tends to help in terms of working out dialog. I can “hear” it in my head as I walk, and I am away from the keyboard (which means I am away from things like Facebook as well). Plus there’s music. For Pamela Hudson in particular, that character was so defined by her theme music that I received inspiration whenever I listened to Amy Winehouse’s You Know I’m No Good. I mainly listen to music when I am walking, and I would listen to that song over and over again as I was writing Intolerance and then, later, Together, as Pamela has a cameo in that book, too. It was, in many ways, like taking dictation.

Races

I don’t just walk. Sometimes, I run, and it’s was once in the context of 5K races (I ran between 9 and 12 every year until I hurt my knee). Because I was busy dealing with my pacing and timing, I usually could not work out dialog, etc.

However, the sheer act of racing has proven inspirational. I wanted one of the Digiorno-Madden-Beckett offspring to have a weight problem. So I settled on Neil Digiorno-Madden. Neil is the only one of the prime universe/prime timeline children to become a chef (Joss Reed-Hayes also becomes a chef and he even succeeds Lili and Will Slocum in that area, but he is from the first E2 temporal kick-back and is not a part of the prime timeline). Hence there can often be weight issues when you are tasting food all day long.

I also wanted Neil to be doing something about it, so he ran a 5K in Fortune. Eventually just that little story was told, in The Medal.

Upshot

I truly believe that working out and getting away from the keyboard have both helped a great deal in terms of keeping writer’s block at bay. Keep putting one foot in front of the other, and one word in front of the next and you’ll get somewhere eventually!

Posted by jespah in Inspiration-Mechanics, 1 comment

Portrait of a Character – Francisco (Frank) Ramirez

Portrait of a Character – Francisco (Frank) Ramirez

Francisco is a kind of hero character.

Origins

For Reversal, I liked the idea of Jenny Crossman having a solid, stable relationship. Here she is, the Redheaded Bombshell, yet she stays at home most Saturday nights. Aidan MacKenzie, in particular, is frustrated by this. But she hasn’t told him how serious things are with Frank, although Lili does acknowledge that the picture of Francisco that sits on Jenny’s desk is “huge”.

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – Francisco (Frank) Ramirez

Frank Ramirez (Freddie Prinze, Jr.)

I wanted an actor with a Hispanic background to play Frank. He had to be good-looking but intelligent, and maybe a little goofy. I decided on Freddie Prinze, Jr.

Frank is a planetary geologist on Enceladus in Reversal. Jenny Crossman describes him as just, she knew he was the one. He visited her on a blind date, she explains to Travis in Together, and then Frank didn’t leave for several days afterwards.

Personality

Kind and sensitive, Frank is Jennifer’s rock. When she has to tell him what happened during the course of Together, he forgives her immediately and without reservation. All he wants is for her to be happy.

Furthermore, he becomes a father. His daughter, Ines, takes up with Melissa and Doug‘s second son, Neil Digiorno-Madden, and they have two children together.

Relationships

Jennifer Crossman

This is his main, defining relationship and he is never seen, in our universe, with anyone else. Frank is the quintessential good guy and there is no doubt that Jennifer has made the best possible choice.

Empress Hoshi Sato

Frank is a designated bed mate in the Mirror Universe, and there exists the very real possibility that he is her third child, Arashi‘s, father. However, since Arashi does not have the Y Chromosome Skew, and José Torres does not, either, it’s far more likely that José is the lucky fellow. He does not have much of a relationship with Hoshi and she chides him, during The Point is Probably Moot, for being a lousy performer. However, this is his ace in the hole, so to speak. He wants to be thought of as inadequate in that department, so that he can get out of it most of the time.  All he wants to do is work in Engineering. He doesn’t have time for the Empress’s bedroom games.

Pamela Hudson

In the first alternate timeline at the end of Temper, Pamela, Blair and Karin are all freed. Blair ends up with Doctor Morgan and Karin ends up with Josh Rosen. Pamela, however, gets right to business and goes after the highest-ranking available man on the ship. Chip Masterson is the new captain but he is taken by Lucy Stone. Hence she goes after Frank.

Shelby Pike

On the other side of the pond, in the prime timeline, Frank and Shelby end up together and are first seen as a couple during The Point is Probably Moot. Like most couples comprised of senior staff on the ISS Defiant, they must keep their relationship under wraps, and they very nearly blow it during Bread.

Theme Music

He shares two songs with Jennifer during Together. Their long-distance relationship is evoked with Maroon 5’s This Love. Then their wedding song is Dusty Springfield’s I Only Want Be With You.

Mirror Universe

In the Mirror Universe,

Portrait of a Character – Francisco (Frank) Ramirez

Freddie Prinze Jr. (Mirror Frank)

there is no room for planetary geology when there are worlds to conquer. Hence Frank is an engineer. But unlike Tucker and Crossman, he isn’t, initially, looking to get out.

At the end of that story, with Crossman and Tucker gone (and José Torres is not an engineer in that universe; Frank fulfills that role on that side of the pond), Francisco gets a promotion from the Empress to run Engineering. This he does without concern for further promotions and glory. His lack of further ambition, and his true competence, keep him alive.

Francisco eventually gets where he needs to be, but only by the time of He Stays a Stranger.

Quote

“You can always tell me what’s going on. Always. When I asked you to marry me, I didn’t mean it was just this one-time offer that could be rescinded at any time.”

Upshot

Frank is as much of a fantasy fulfillment character as Doug is. In fact, he’s more, for he does not have the violent streak that Doug is saddled with. It would be a far better world if more men were like Frank.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Hall of Mirrors, In Between Days series, Portrait, Times of the HG Wells series, 12 comments

Review – Letters from Home

Letters from Home

Letters …

Origins

Review – Letters from Home

Mail Call at Stalag 17

One of my all-time favorite films is Stalag 17. And there is a scene where a fellow named Harry Shapiro receives a bunch of mail. It is far more than anyone else. So they ask him how that’s possible. Because none of them can believe it. Why should he get all the mail?

Harry strongly implies that the mail is from girls, and refers to himself as “Sugar Lips” Shapiro. He keeps up the ruse for a few minutes.

But then his friend, Stanislaus (“Animal”) Kuzawa, grabs one piece of mail and starts reading it. So it turns out, the mail is all from a finance company. Shapiro’s Plymouth is being repossessed.

The Tie to Star Trek

Review – Letters from Home

Star Trek: Enterprise establishes, in canon, that commerce and trade are still conducted, and people are still using money. Hence the time period works out rather nicely.

Furthermore, there are still automobiles (Tripp Tucker refers to driving an old girlfriend to Chatkin Point). Hence I knew I wanted Tucker for this story, which was in response to a prompt about letters from home. The mail, I decided, would be reflective of Harry Shapiro’s own travails with a finance company.

So for Tripp, the finance company contacts him after the Xindi attack. Of course, he’s more than a little put out by this. And the exasperating correspondence thereby begins ….

Story Postings

Rating

The story has a K rating.

Upshot

I like how this one turned out. It’s got a bit of comedy as things go more and more over the top. I also think I ended it at the right point. Any more and the reader might’ve started to feel sorry for the finance company.


You can find me on .

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, In Between Days series, Review, 4 comments

Spotlight on an Original Nonsentient Species – Malostrea

Spotlight on an Original Nonsentient Species – Malostrea

Malostrea were fun to create.

Background

For the E2 stories, I wanted the Amity planet to not have any life on it which had developed a backbone.

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Malostrea

Malostrea

Some animals would be just plain dumb, like the procul (similar to Animal Planet‘s The Future is Wild speculative critters, the megasquid).

The procul, to be sure, are not the sharpest knives in the drawer. But the malostrea (pronounced mal-oh-STRAY-uh) were meant to be smarter than all that.

Predators

If procul are prey (and they’re too dumb to be anything else), they needed to have predators.

The malostrea (the name is Latin for evil oysters, and the same word is used for both singular and plural)  were meant to be almost the Amity invertebrate equivalent of wolf packs.

Living

When they first get onto Amity, the MACOs spot a number of perfectly circular holes in squishy, swampy ground. The holes are too perfectly round to have just gotten there by accident. Something had to have made the holes.

They see the procul first, and then see the malostrea clambering out of their little dens. The dens are interconnected underground, much like mole tunnels.

Hunting

The first time these animals are seen, they are out to hunt procul. The procul are several times larger than they are, but the malostrea have a secret weapon. They are able to naturally secrete a substance known as tricoulamine. This nerve toxin acts fast, and if a procul is “bitten” (since these animals don’t have teeth or jaws, the poison is delivered by means of having a shell clamp down on a leg), the big beast goes down, stone dead, nearly immediately.

Once the prey is dead, the malostrea set upon it and tear it apart with their little clapping shells. Procul legs can more or less fit inside malostrea den holes, but the bigger parts of a procul have to be torn apart. The malostrea don’t really have any means of slicing straightly and perfectly, so the aftermath of hunting is a bit messy as the game is torn apart for transport.

Intelligence

Spotlight on an Original Nonsentient Species – Malostrea

Clams (source: Wikimedia Commons)

Two malostrea are captured and brought to Sick Bay for study. Andrew Miller and Diana Jones spend the most time with them. In order to tell them apart (they are virtually identical hermaphrodites), the two malostrea are spray-painted with a blue 1 and a fuchsia 2 and are dubbed Thing One and Thing Two (a reference to Dr. Seuss‘s The Cat in the Hat). It’s difficult for Diana and Andy to really study the malostrea as they are poisonous and unpredictable. However, there is a great deal of clapping and chattering going on. The two researchers surmise that it’s a primitive form of communications for, after all, these creatures hunt in a pack. There has to be some form of planning going on there.

Future

The problem with E2 details is that most of them can’t, by definition, follow through to the correct timeline. But the malostrea do. In the last of the E2 stories, I reveal that, on a planet called Archer’s Planet (the correct name for Amity), Eska hunters call them hard devils.

Upshot

I like them. I’d like to use them again somewhere, but I’m a bit stumped as to where.

Posted by jespah in Interphases series, Spotlight, 5 comments

Review – Concord

Review – Concord

Concord is a favorite.

Origins

Barking Up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Concord

Concord

The prompt was about “a page from the past”. I had long thought about dropping a Star Trek: Enterprise character into the extreme past, and had even done this with a pair of TNG characters, in Crackerjack.

But I wanted to go back even further, so I hit upon the start of the American Revolution and a local pair of battles – Lexington and Concord.

And what better person to toss into that pressure cooker than someone who would be in trouble the minute he opened his mouth?

Enter Malcolm Reed.

Plot Points

The Premise

Reed is unceremoniously dumped right into the middle of the Battle of Lexington, and that’s only the start of his troubles.

An Injury

Because he’s wholly unprepared for this form of warfare, he becomes injured, but not horribly so. However, in 1775, infected injuries could easily result in a loss of limb or life. I deliberately made it so that the surgeon in the regiment had already died, and the village doctor had joined the militia. These absences meant that Malcolm would have to be treated in some other fashion.

At the same time, the man next to him, Robert Lennox, is a lot worse off, and may die.

A Place to Go

Review – Concord

The quartering of troops is very real to history, and so I had Malcolm’s commanding officer push for a farmhouse to accept the two injured men. Malcolm is apologetic at the same time that his commander – the true to history Lieutenant Colonel Francis Smith – is rude and blustery. The mistress of the farmhouse accepts the two wounded men as she has very little choice in the matter. She is a colonial and is sympathetic to the revolutionary cause. Her husband has even gone to fight for it. But she is alone and is not about to let Malcolm or Robert die on her doorstep.

Some Soon to be Familiar Names

The mistress of the house introduces herself as Charlotte Hayes, wife to Jacob Hayes. She and her servant, Benjamin Warren, keep the home and assist the two wounded men.

Because the Concord story begins right before Voracious, the names O’Day and Hayes are not yet familiar to the characters. Furthermore, the name Warren also figures in my stories. In Crackerjack, Wesley’s wife’s maiden name is Warren. And in the E2 stories, there is a Science crewman with the name of Nyota Warren, who ends up with canon character Billy Dane. Benjamin is an ancestor of them just like Charlotte and Jacob are ancestors to Lili and Jay (thereby making Jay and Lili distant cousins).

How Did He Get There? And How Does He Get Back?

Without giving away too many spoilers, suffice it to say that Malcolm’s presence in 1775 is due to a defective temporal experiment.  His return can only happen if the experimenters figuring out the problem, and solve it.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

I love how the historical aspects worked out. I did a great deal of research in order to understand how the farm would run, what things would cost and any number of other details. The story was extremely satisfying to put together. And it is easily one of my absolute favorites.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, In Between Days series, Interphases series, Review, 24 comments

Portrait of a Character – Lucy Stone

Portrait of a Character – Lucy Stone

Lucy Stone serves a lot of purposes.

Origins

The Mirror Defiant needed a Science Officer after T’Pol‘s death. And the Prime Universe NX-01 needed someone who could fill in at Science during the evening shift. Plus Jennifer Crossman needed a bridesmaid in Together. And so Lucy was born.

Portrayal

I wanted a strong but very lovely woman, so went with Alyssa Milano. Lucy is smart but she is also quite the looker.

Lucy StoneAt the start of Day of the Dead, Chip Masterson in particular is checking her out, until Tripp Tucker reminds him that he (Chip) is now married to Deb Haddon. And she is liable to take action if she feels their relationship is at all under threat.

But Chip has only a mild interest. This is because – unbeknownst to any of them – his and Lucy’s counterparts have a future together. But that doesn’t happen on our side of the proverbial pond.

Personality

Smart but serious, Lucy also is, at times, a bit careless. Neither of her two pregnancies are planned.

Relationships

Ben Collins

Portrait of a Character – Lucy Stone

He’s only seen on a communications screen during Take Back the Night, when she contacts him in order to speak with their daughter, Gina. Lucy reveals that they haven’t been in love for years, but she appreciates Ben, who makes it possible for her to be out there at all. If Ben did not want to be essentially a stay at home father to Gina, it’s likely that Lucy would not have gone into space at all.

Andrew Miller

Their relationship takes flight during Take Back the Night, when she finds out she’s pregnant. He vows to her that he will stand by her decision – whatever it is – with respect to her pregnancy. She decides to keep the baby, who is a daughter. They name her Vanessa. By the time of Fortune, I reveal that they are still together.

Mirror Universe

In Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses, Andrew Miller ends up working to get Lucy on board the Defiant. He refers to her as the top of his science class, so Empress Hoshi is interested. Normally, the Empress doesn’t like to have any female competition on board.

Portrait of a Character – Lucy Stone

Mirror Lucy

Unlike Pamela Hudson, Blair Claymore, and Karin Bernstein, Lucy isn’t a man’s plaything. And unlike Melissa Madden, she isn’t carrying on a betrayal of the Empress.

However, the Empress makes it clear that Andrew is off-limits.

Chip Masterson

In the Mirror, Lucy ends up with Chip (Chip cannot be with Deb Haddon, as she is dead). First shown as a couple in Temper, they conspire in order to get away. As the first alternate timeline plays out to its end, Chip proposes via communicator, in front of everyone. In the second alternate timeline, and in the prime timeline, they escape together, with his children, Takara and Takeo. And in Fortune, she breaks her leg. In order to make contact with a doctor, Chip sleeps with his arm on rocks that are embedded with callidium, the ore that allows for psionic amplification. He thereby makes contact with Lili, who in turn contacts Miva, who takes care of Lucy.

Quote

“She’s actually a little less peeved when she’s pregnant. Usually.”

Upshot

I think Lucy needs a bit more detail to her, and more depth. She is instrumental in a lot of ways, but I don’t really feel like I know her yet.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Hall of Mirrors, In Between Days series, Portrait, 16 comments

Progress Report – November 2012

November 2012 Posted Works

November 2012 was a good, productive month. Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | Quill | November 2012

On Fanfiction.net, I posted An Announcement, Apple, A Kind of Blue, Local Flavor, Before the Fall, Brown,  Gainful and The Tribe. I also added If You Can’t Stand the Heat. I changed the protagonist’s name from Paul Miller to Will Slocum (this is how that story will be from now on).

On Ad Astra, in response to their Burdens of Command challenge, I posted Day of the Dead as a Halloween story, and it won! I also linked to it on The Delphic Expanse. I added a number of stories to the In Between Days collection. These included A Single Step, Achieving Peace, Ceremonial, Day of the Dead, Detroit Rock City, Half, The High Cost of Dissidence and Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses. In response to a prompt about gatherings, I added The Tribe. Also, I began working on a story for the family prompt (my own prompt!) called A Gathering.

On Archer’s Angels, I added Pat the Bunny, an HG Wells story which will also fit the Hall of Mirrors. I also added Before the Fall, an In Between Days prequel story in response to a prompt about the seven deadly sins (the story was about pride).

My Daranaean series, Emergence, was finally issued by Trek United Publishing!

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Emergence

Emergence

Milestones

Day of the Dead won the Ad Astra challenge! It was featured for a month and I choose the next challenge subject. I selected family as a prompt.

Together hit the 10,000 read count milestone on Ad Astra on the 19th. Intolerance continues to approach the overall 10,000 read count milestone, with well over 9,000 so far. For stories with only one placement, Hold Your Dominion is the current champ, with over 2,500 reads.

WIP Corner

I finished the last of the four E2 stories, lining them up with canon and Star Trek fan fiction. I began thinking about a new series, to probably take place in a post-Nemesis scenario. However, it will have a lot of old friends include canon characters Martin Madden and Wesley Crusher.

Prep Work

Because the new Ad Astra challenge was set for two months, and the holidays were coming and I was done with the HG Wells series, I worked on some one-offs. These were mainly from a lot earlier in my writing days, to get them to better dovetail with fanfiction. I edited and created covers for The Puzzle, There’s Something About Hoshi, If You Can’t Stand the Heat, More, More, More! and The Adventures of Porthos. I also interwove them into my fanfiction, giving them dates (e. g. Hoshi had to happen fairly late during the In Between Days period as Jay Hayes‘s replacement, Bud Dawson, is in it. Heat had to happen early as it references Naomi Curtis and a bunch of helpers for Chef Slocum, and Shelby replaces Naomi as Lili replaces all of Chef’s earlier assistants.).

This Month’s Productivity Killers

I finished writing the E2 stories, and spinning out The Times of the HG Wells. This made for a double dose of difficult feelings. Both of these moments were a bit trying, and for dissimilar reasons. The E2 stories in particular deal with Jay Hayes‘s death. Hence ending those stories feels a little bit like the character’s death all over again. The end of the Wells stories brings with it a bit of sadness (even though it’s an overall rather happy ending). That’s because those characters aren’t so easy to revisit. Both of these have made it a bit hard to start a new series, yet I am determined.

Furthermore, as ever, I continue to look for work. The holidays are undoubtedly also going to turn into productivity killers.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Progress, 0 comments

Portrait of a Character – Richard Daniels

Portrait of a Character – Richard Daniels

Richard Daniels has more from me than he ever got in canon.

Origins

Richard DanielsThis character is, of course, Star Trek: Enterprise canon, but he does not have a given name in canon, or even a first initial. Nothing is known of his inner life or personality. In the series, he’s just a time traveler and does not seem to have emotional reactions to much of what happens, except when his own time period is threatened.

Portrayal

As in canon, Richard Daniels is played by actor Matt Winston.

Personality

Portrait of a Character – Richard Daniels

Richard Daniels (Matt Winston)

Smarter than anyone else in the room, Rick is a natural for time travel. But he’s also a bit bored, and is jaded by constantly putting things back. This includes allowing people to die who seem to be innocents. In order to comfort himself, and to keep himself occupied, he begins bedding women in time.

All goes along fine until one of the women ends up pregnant. This would not matter so much to history (although it matters to Richard), except that the pregnant woman is the Empress Hoshi Sato.

He has a good relationship with his sister, Eleanor. For a long time, she is the only person he confides in.

Rick’s Conquests

Rick is a womanizer at the start of A Long, Long Time Ago. Here are his known conquests, in the order of the conquests (his perspective in time):

His Time Her Name Her Time
3101 Lucretia Crossman 1699
After 3101 Betty Tyler 1929
After 3101 Phillipa Green March, 2763
After 3101 Empress Hoshi Sato (mirror) January 30, 2156
After 3101 Dana MacKenzie 2380
After 3101 Irene of Castile 1417
May 5, 3104 Carmen Calavicci May 5, 3104
March 27 – August 25, 3109 Tina April March 27, 3109 – August 25, 3109
September 7, 3109 Annette (Windy) Bradley May 3 – 4, 1970
3109 – 3110 Sheilagh Bernstein September, 3109 – March 3110
March 3110 Milena Chelenska July – August, 1968

Relationships

Tina April

Unlike his temporal conquests, Tina is a real-live girlfriend for Richard. They check each other out in A Lesson. Then Eleanor introduces them at the start of Temper. But at the end of A Long, Long Time Ago, he ends it, although he contacts her a few times, during both Ohio and The Point is Probably Moot.

Milena Chelenska

They meet during the events of Spring Thaw. They enjoy each other’s company and are intellectual equals. They’re also both suffering from some melancholy. Hers is more significant than his, as she is a Holocaust survivor. Perhaps in part because he isn’t supposed to have her, Richard finds himself falling for her. It isn’t until He Stays a Stranger that he does anything about it.

Missions

Richard Daniels goes on several missions for the Temporal Integrity Commission. He isn’t just fooling around. Here the only missions of his I know about (so far) –

His Time Mission Locale Mission Time
3096 NX-01 2152
After 3096 NX-01 July 10, 2154
After 3096 Boston January 1, 2000
Between 3096 & 3101 American Colonies 1757
Between 3096 & 3101 Pompeii AD 79
Between 3096 & 3101 Rome 44 BC
Between 3096 & 3101 Rome 450 BC
3101 Pennsylvania 1699
After 3101 New Jersey/New York 1929
After 3101 Unknown, somewhere on Earth March, 2763
After 3101 ISS Defiant January 30, 2156
After 3101 USS Enterprise-E 2380
3104 Mirror Universe, Dawitan November 3, 2012
March 27, 3109 Lafa II 2161/2166/2178
August, 3109 Clear Lake, Iowa 1959
September 7, 3109 Kent State, Ohio May 3 – 4, 1970
3109 Rome, Pompeii and Naples May, 1960
3109 Prague July – August, 1968
3109 Oklahoma City April, 1995
3109 Egypt October, 1981
3109 Florida January, 1986
3110 Mirror Universe/Earth orbit and Rura Penthe/Prague May 20 – 25, 2192/June 21, 1964/July 19 – 20,1969

Personal Reactions

As I explain in the HG Wells series, a lot of temporal alterations are minor (otric), and don’t affect the overall timeline. In the E2 stories, Archer and others open Richard’s cabin more than once, as the displaced NX-01 attempts to reach him so that they can get back to their correct time period. While it’s difficult for him, Rick ends up having to ignore them. This is because the Enterprise, in two separate iterations, is meant to be in the 2030s and beyond.

Theme Music

In Temper, his music is The Records’ Your Starry Eyes. But in the HG Wells stories, his themes are Andrew Gold’s Lonely Boy and then, finally, Secret Agent Man by Johnny Rivers, which was the original inspirational music for the series itself.

Mirror Universe

So Rick does not have a Mirror Universe counterpart, and explains the reason for that to Sheilagh Bernstein during Ohio. In First Born, because Rick has fathered a temporally incompatible child, he and his boss, Carmen Calavicci, have to negotiate in order to allow Rick’s son, Jun, to live. One of the conditions of allowing Jun’s survival is that Rick can’t return to the Mirror Universe during the Empress’s lifetime. However, he can go to the Mirror during other time periods and, when he does, in a kind of salute to her, he calls himself Ritchie as she called him that (the nickname is a reference to Ritchie Valens, and A Long, Long Time Ago). An earlier Mirror Universe mission is a part of Pat the Bunny.

Quote

“I’m sorry, but no, though I have never forgotten you, either of you. And I love my, my child, but I know that I have never been a father to you. I wish I had been.”

Upshot

For a guy who doesn’t even have a first name in canon, I think I’ve given Richard Daniels a pretty wild life. Hopefully, readers find him as fascinating as I have.

Posted by jespah in In Between Days series, Portrait, Times of the HG Wells series, 73 comments

Review – There’s Something About Hoshi

Review – There’s Something About Hoshi

What about Hoshi?

Background

So back in 2005, I wrote an initial five Star Trek: Enterprise fan fiction stories. I centered them all around the five senses. More, More, More was about hearing. The Puzzle (which was a more complex and ambitious tale) was about sight. The Adventures of Porthos took on smell. And If You Can’t Stand the Heat was about taste.

Hence There’s Something About Hoshi was about touch and, by extension, feelings.

Plot

The story begins with Hoshi Sato being courted by Ted Stone. But he’s a somewhat inept suitor, and keeps missing his marks. He tries to be romantic but can’t quite get it right. Hoshi fears she is settling, and references the canon E2 episode where she settled for “old what’s his name” (Sekar Khan, the Quartermaster).

The Enterprise is contacted by an unknown species, the Arisians. They notice her on the Bridge and their communications are inept enough that everyone can hear one of them mentioning his astonishment that there is a woman. They create a pretext for Hoshi to come to the surface. She agrees even though everyone that the Enterprise sees on Aris seems to be male.

MACOs

About hoshi

Hoshi (Linda Park) dressed for the evening

A pair of MACOs accompany Hoshi, and it becomes clear that they are a gay couple. Friends of hers, they compliment her on her choice of attire for the evening. It’s confirmed that Frank Todd will be one of the MACOs going to the surface (Frank also shows up in Shell Shock and in the E2 stories), as will his boss, Major Dawson (Dawson is also a part of Shell Shock and is the replacement for Jay Hayes).

A visit to the planet confirms that everyone is male. Milit, an Arisian, tells the landing party (in addition to Hoshi, Corporal Todd and Major Dawson, Travis Mayweather, Jonathan Archer and Malcolm Reed are present) that, long ago, the men of his species researched how to decrease gestation until eventually they could accomplish all of it without women. Once accomplished, they allowed all of the women to die out and only cloned males. Hoshi realizes, uncomfortably, that she is the only woman on the entire planet.

Pretext

Review – There’s Something About Hoshi

Hieroglyphics at mesa pintada

Then she asks to see hieroglyphics, which were the pretext for getting her to the surface. So Todd and an Arisian, Lio, accompany her to where the hieroglyphics supposedly are. Todd and Hoshi are overcome and her hormones are extracted via syringe. However, Lio and his cohorts also inject her and Corporal Todd with something else.

By the time Hoshi returns to the ship, she is suddenly irresistible to all of the men on board (and a few women as well), but not Corporal Todd as his preference doesn’t go that way. Harassed and scared, even the captain gets in on bothering her, leering at her on the Bridge as various other male crew members make all sorts of passes at her until the Arisians can make things right again.

Story Postings

Rating

The story has a K rating.

Upshot

I played the story for humor. While it’s still funny, seven years of hindsight give me another perspective. In a lot of ways, it’s kind of creepy, the way that everyone is throwing themselves at her. The character was in very real danger of sexual assault. If I were writing the story today, I would probably amp up the fear more, and downplay more of the humor.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, In Between Days series, Review, 21 comments