Eight is a mixed bag of stories to fill in a few small gaps and inconsistencies or untold stories. Truth is, I was most likely the only person who noticed or cared about these little untold moments or inconsistent bits. No problem. It is always important to keep writing, so I was able to do so with this small set of exercises. Furthermore, it may serve as an introduction to my work for some people.
As a gift for the Chanukah holiday (to myself), I decided to write eight little family-centric stories taking place within my various universes. The various characters would interact, or not, but the main idea was for each story to be related to family somehow.
Even in the future, and regardless of species, it is all about family. Home and hearth, even in space.
Stories cover In Between Days, the E2 timeline, the Daranaean Emergence series, the Eriecho series, Times of the HG Wells, Hold Your Dominion, and there is also a second HG Wells story which focuses on Levi Cavendish and Otra D’Angelo.
I needed a garden variety phenomenon. Chi Band Radiation would have to be able to stand in for a lot of almost magical properties. It had to be a kind of technobabble thing.
The idea would cover all sorts of issues. This would include crossing people over from one universe to another. Or it would be the kinds of temporal switches and shenanigans shown in Concord and Crackerjack. For both of those stories there were other explanations for their issues.
Chi Band Radiation ended up being used particularly in the Barnstorming series. It was used to show how and why the Mirror Universe was attempting to cross over and potentially invade our own. The Emperor would have been deposed and fallen on hard times. The radiation would be, to him, a godsend, a means of regaining his past glories.
Instead, he’s living in a shack. He is dependent upon the kind charity of the native Calafan people. This would be quite the harsh reality for a proud man.
The radiation would also be a means of almost communicating. It would be a way of knocking on the door of another universe, as it were. This would attract the attention of weird ADHD-addled temporal engineer Levi Cavendish. Giving Levi a means of investigating all possible universes was a fun idea. The way to fulfill his mission to find the ultimate pumpkin pie (spoiler alert: it’s in the universe with a 49 centimeter radiation band on the hydrogen line) proved irresistible.
This Swiss Army knife has stood me in good stead. I am sure I will be using it again in the future.
Overture came about from a Star Trek fanfiction prompt about new beginnings.
I could not get the idea out of my head about the start of a classical concert. That led me to Lakeisha Warren.
Young love is often a good idea for a story, and this was no exception.
I sent Wesley Crusher out to visit Lakeisha, not too long after they had first met. As a direct sequel to Imprecision, and a prequel to The All-Stars, Wesley would be very interested in this amusing musically gifted girl.
A classical concert, for her, could easily encompass music from The Who’s Tommy rock opera.
As Lakeisha practices, Wesley listens in a little, and then he knocks on her door. He tells her that he does not believe in holding back. He wants her to know she already means something to him.
The character is technically canon although the scene of his introduction ended up on the cutting room floor. In the ‘lost’ footage, William Riker plays a nasty, passive-aggressive prank and Madden is the butt of the joke. I disliked the scene so much that I felt Madden needed a measure of justice. He is the reason that Melissa has her last name, as she is his forebear, via her middle son, Neil.
Because Marty is also Doug‘s descendant, his radiation band is slightly less than it should be, betraying a partial origin in the Mirror Universe. As the Barnstorming series unfolds, the family’s importance increases. Doug’s descendants hold a key in their DNA that could alter the fate of both universes.
As in canon, Madden is played by actor Steven Culp. I like this actor a great deal. He was also exceptionally gracious when I wrote to him, asking for an autographed photograph and the answer to a few questions as I was writing The Three of Us and looking to add some verisimilitude to my details about Jay Hayes. Culp wrote back, said my questions were interesting (I asked things like what is his favorite story to read to a child) but whatever I came up with would be fine. He also wished me luck with my writing. His framed picture is hanging in the room where I do my writing and it helps provide some inspiration.
Lonely, brilliant, and bored, Marty is near the top of his profession but wants something more. He is only close to one person, and that is not only hurting him in his career, it’s also, in general, making him miserable. Furthermore, the incident with Riker got him off on the wrong foot with Captain Picard. A bit of a perfectionist, Martin is appalled by what happened and scrambling to make it right.
With one disastrous date, this is really not a relationship. Tamsin likes him, but he can’t stand her; he had only asked her out in order to get his mind off Dana. Tamsin takes it the wrong way and tries to get him to sleep with her. When he refuses, she stretches the truth to its breaking point, and files a sexual harassment charge against him. The charge is groundless and is quickly dropped. But it gets worse, as she is distantly related to him. As a part of the family (through Joss), Tamsin is not so close to Marty to prevent a relationship, plus she’s somewhat aggressive. It’s a complete turnoff to him, but she is family and so, in some ways, he’s stuck with her. But he doesn’t have to date her.
With a language all their own, Martin Douglas Madden and Misty Dana MacKenzie – the MDM Twins – are made for each other. There’s just one small problem. She’s his second cousin.
That would not seem like much of an issue, but I write an unjust Second Cousin Marriage law, forbidding such marriages where the parties share at least one great-grandparent. The purpose behind the law is to prevent too much Daranaean inbreeding and the introduction of younger and younger child brides. But the law fails miserably as it is mainly just a bad political compromise.
When Dana is imprisoned at Canamar, it is only Marty who continues writing to her after her parents die. With the letters kept from her as a part of her unjust punishment, her reading of those letters is one of her first acts after getting out.
His love for her is one of the few things that sustains him. It is one of the underlying themes of the series, along with the concept that the Digiorno-Madden-Hayes-Beckett-O’Day–Reed family endures forever. There is power in this love, and it cannot be denied.
I’m not so sure that Marty can exist in the Mirror Universe.
As a descendant of Doug, who left the Mirror and had never fathered a child on that side before he did, then Marty’s existence in the Mirror is technically impossible. However, I write a Mirror Tamsin (called Jennifer), explaining that the analogue is imperfect but very close. After all, if most other forebears fall into place, or close relatives such as siblings or first or even second cousins take the place of the originals, after a time span of a few centuries, the differences become negligible. This isn’t a bad theory for why there are so many MU counterparts, and I might explore it at some time.
But if the same incident occurs, he wouldn’t just be miffed at Riker and embarrassed by him – Marty would have knifed the man.
“I can’t exactly get away when everyone else can. Understand something, all right? Whatever Riker did, whatever he could do, whatever he tried or got away with and however he acted, that was him, all right? He probably got himself here for lunch somewhere between 1200 and 1330 hours nearly every day, am I right? … But that’s not me. But, uh, I get the feeling there’s one more item on your list of Things Keeping Martin Madden from Making Friends on the Enterprise-E. Am I right? Care to share it with me if I am?”
I am really enjoying writing this character, a kind of combination of Jay’s discipline and Doug’s zest for life, with a bit of Malcolm’s pre-Lili tortured loneliness. The Barnstorming series is not done yet, and Martin Madden is a huge part of it.
Yet again, the prompt and the story have the same name.
Geordi and his friends help Data deal with a significant loss.
This story is for anyone who has ever had to bury a beloved pet. I have, several times.
I originally wrote it as more or less on a lark. I am more of a dog person than a cat person and so the death of the orange tabby affected me about as much as it did Data in the beginning of the story.
The character is, of course, canon. In canon, he has a lot of trouble with women and never seems to really find anyone. His blindness is established and is basically respected, although eventually, in the films, he gets implants. It probably made for easier storytelling.
This intelligent actor could have usually used better scripts. I would have liked to have seen him confronting prejudice, for one thing. It’s one of the reasons I wrote Crackerjack in the first place.
Very smart and responsible, and uber-nerdy, Geordi is an affable guy who always seems to be in the friendzone.
Geordi has canon relationships but I won’t enumerate them here.
During the events depicted in Crackerjack, Geordi and Rosemary share a brief romance. He pays enough attention to her life to look her up, and he learns that she was arrested with Martin Luther King, Jr. after she married a man with the surname of Warren (which rather neatly makes her an ancestor of the woman I write as becoming Wesley Crusher‘s wife, Lakeisha Warren).
Crackerjack has a ton of period music, but nothing really speaks to me as a theme for Geordi.
It’s hard to say whether a Mirror Universe Geordi could exist at all.
He would be extra-smart, to be sure, but I write the MU as being leery of physical weaknesses and imperfections – and blindness would be right up there as a not so small problem.
If he could easily and seamlessly be fitted with ocular implants, perhaps as an infant, then he could survive and maybe even thrive on the other side of the pond.
“No, that’s all right. But the young lady who is with us, maybe she would like to do that. I can’t figure these people out. Some of them wouldn’t be caught dead being anywhere near me, while others are going out of their way to be kind or even charitable in their own way.”
When I first began to write Yi’imspi (spoiler alert!!!), I did not picture her as being the villain of the piece. She was just another Calafan, although she was a part of the Barnstorming series. The idea was to give this beloved original species a future. But then things took a turn.
Yi’imspi is played by actress Tilda Swinton. I really love this actress’s exotic look, which I feel shows off the Calafans well. I also feel she could convincingly be both an athlete and a model.
And a double-crossing spy.
Secretive, intelligent, and seductive, Yi’imspi is out for only one thing – to promote and improve the life of Yi’imspi. But for Section 31 and other factions trying to use her, she cares little. It doesn’t matter to her who wins this political tug of war.
A quick hookup and nothing more, Yi’imspi and her fellow team member meet unintentionally while the team is on break and he is taking a spiritual pilgrimage to see the Great Plume of Agasoria.
But Tag (Darren) has been hitting on other female team members, including the Caitian, M’Belle. He isn’t looking for anything, and neither is she.
The third sex team member, the Imvari named Grosk, is interested, but they are sexually incompatible. She is kind to him, though. I had not conceived of her as the villain yet, so she’s pleasant there.
By the time the alternate timeline is created by her own actions, the Emperor of the Terran Empire takes a shine. Then again, he is in dire straits at the time. She only wants one thing from him, and that’s information. She doesn’t want to sleep with him.
There are no impediments to Yi’imspi existing in the Mirror.
I write Mirror Universe women as being as ruthless as the men, but often needing protection. After all, the percentage of women is smaller than that of men. But that’s really only true for Terrans. Is it true for Calafans?
As a double-crossing spy, she is already a lot like a Mirror Universe denizen. There might not be too much of a difference.
“I thought I saw you hitting on M’Belle. I believe I have also seen you hitting on Cilla and maybe also Adeel.”
Villain characters are always fun to write, but this series was not well thought out when it was started. Hence her behavior has to change, almost in the middle of things. I am sure there are better ways I could have handled this character.
For the first-ever game played by The Black Sheep barnstorming team, the idea was that the team would play hockey with a team composed of members of a military unit on Andoria. It was to be the place where, if the O’Day–Beckett marriage had ended at the end of Together, Doug would have ended up. Instead, it’s more like a footnote until this story.
Hobie is played by actor Edward Norton. I had used this actor for the HG Wells series and liked him and wanted to revisit him. But instead of being ADHD-addled Levi Cavendish, he would be a decent military guy.
Affable, a little shy, and very formal, Kent is a divorced guy who rarely goes out. Then he meets Dana MacKenzie, and his interest is piqued as she is more aggressive and sporting than he’s used to. But then things go too far, too fast.
Kent’s estranged wife left while still pregnant with their second daughter. I had nothing on her and she is only mentioned, never seen. The idea is that it was a painful, messy divorce. All Hobie cares about is being able to see Katie and Nichole, his children.
With Dana, there isn’t too much of a relationship. They enjoy each other’s company and communicate a little, but that’s it. Neither of them try very hard as she is hung up on Martin Madden and Kent, regardless of what he says, is still mourning his broken marriage.
In an alternate timeline, MU Kent is attached to Darragh, who is an Augment descendant (and is probably an ancestor of both Darragh Stratton and Rick Daniels’s mother, Chloe Masterson). Is Kent also an Augment descendant? I don’t know.
Seen briefly during an iteration where Rick is still trying to repair the timeline, Kent is a survivalist and stuck on a planet in the old Delphic Expanse.
He is also with Darragh Masterson but, when they are in communications with the Enterprise-E, he checks out Dana, much to Darragh’s chagrin.
“I don’t normally go to bed with women so quickly. You can tell I don’t exactly have the smoothest moves out there. But, um, please don’t get dressed and please don’t leave, okay? ‘Cause I, uh, nobody’s stayed here in, God, she left before Nichole was even born. I swear I won’t touch anything or do anything that you don’t wanna do. I just, I want your company. I hope you want mine a little, too.”
For a character I wa originally going to quickly kill off or at least dismiss, Hobie ended up with a fairly complicated and interesting life, I feel.
For Mack MacKenzie‘s pilot, I wanted a character who could not only strongly or subtly suggest emotions or maybe just sense them, I wanted that character to also be able to manipulate them. Enter Daniya, who is part-Orion and part-Betazoid.
Daniya is played by actress Diora Baird, who was briefly seen as an Orion in the 2009 JJ Abrams film.
I don’t see it as a big stretch to see her a hybrid, particularly with the curly red hair.
Outgoing and friendly, Daniya is a good pilot but also a bit of a flirt.
Daniya is desired by many (the guy who sells the Cookie to Dana leers right at her, ignoring Dana and Crita), but I have not yet written any relationships for her.
There are no impediments to Daniya existing in the Mirror. The image is of course of the actress out of makeup, so the reader is encouraged to use some imagination.
Like any halfway-decent-looking Mirror Universe female, Daniya would have to live and die by her looks.
Would she be a pilot? Possibly, as the MU Shelby Pike certainly is. But she might end up supplementing her income the same way Shelby does, by hooking.
“Pilot talk says it’s no good for maintaining your license. It’s too strange. Not like regular shuttle or freighter runs, where you stay in practice with standard Federation designs. But all the same, I like the idea of something different. Regular freighter runs can be pretty run of the mill. Don’t get me wrong; I like to make a few credits as much as anyone else. But the standard fare isn’t too challenging. That ship, though, I bet it would pose a challenge.”
This character has potential, but I know I haven’t done enough with her. In particular, she doesn’t even show up in the alternate timeline, a sure sign that I am a bit stumped as to how to feature her properly.
I needed for Mack MacKenzie to have an attorney to help with the technical issues of owning and running a barnstorming sports team. The idea of marrying the future Boris Yarin and the past Cyril Morgan was one I could not pass up.
There are no impediments to his existence in the Mirror.
Just like any other intelligent person, he would be ruthless and would probably rise up in the ranks pretty quickly. He could even, potentially, be a lower or even mid-level politician on the other side of the pond.
“All right. Now, you and I have full attorney-client confidentiality. I am not going to go to the authorities if you tell me something illegal is afoot, unless you or anyone else is in relatively immediate physical peril…. So if your engineer finds something that is, shall we say, off the grid, you can tell me. In fact, I would prefer it if you did, so I’d have an idea of what to expect.”
Misty, like every other team owner, needs a lawyer to handle the messy business of player contracts. For her, an ex-convict with a ship that barely skirts legality at times, the need is even greater, and Cyril fits the bill rather neatly.