Hearts in Time was born from a collaboration between me and trekfan. We decided his character, Hank Harrison, would go on a blind date with one of my characters. Being the silly gal that I am, I paired him up with a Daranaean, Inta II.
Hank is looking for love and to start a family. Inta is looking mainly for someone ‘to be kind’. She is a secondary Daranaean female, so she has some privileges, but they are just not enough. Since this story ends up taking place before she is admitted to Oxford, her art is a kind of unrequited love in her life.
Hank is taken aback at the look of his blind date. At least she is humanoid, but otherwise he just plain cannot wrap his head around dating her. But they have a good chat and manage to enjoy each other’s brief company. They even give each other a little advice before they part.
Along with determining that Inta is an artist, I also learned, for the first time, what a Daranaean kiss is like. It’s the tiniest of licks, much like we would get from a real live puppy.
This was the first time I had ever written Inta II as an adult. And it was also the first time she had revealed herself to me as an artist. It was a great find, and that led directly to her attending Oxford with Declan Reed.
This story was written in a chat, and it all went down rather quickly. If I were writing it again, I would probably spend some time outside of chat. Furthermore, I think we would have done better to have allowed for some time to elapse and for some editing. But it is a decent story, and it is certainly, on balance, a rather sweet one.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
When Reversal begins, Beth has the unenviable position of babysitter to the Empress Hoshi Sato‘s lone royal brat, Jun. Without being able to escape, Rick Daniels eventually reveals Beth would have been the first person killed by Jun.
Part teacher and part babysitter, Vicki cares for the children during Entanglements and The Three of Us, eventually giving some of the babysitter duties over to others.
Aidan MacKenzie (Mirror Universe only)
After the conclusion of Reversal, Aidan is tasked with siring the Empress’s second son, Kira, and is also made to become the royal babysitter. Embarrassed, catcalled, and humiliated, Aidan lays low for the most part. With Chip, he gets a small degree of revenge in Brown. But in Gilded Cage, the Empress essentially gets him back by placing him under house arrest. In the alternate timelines in Temper, and in the correct timeline in He Stays a Stranger, it’s revealed Aidan stayed on as the sitter although, as the children grew up, he became one of their only de facto parents, along with Susan. Susan is never really a sitter and instead is a skilled teacher, even in the Mirror Universe and even during alternate timelines.
Ethan Shapiro (alternate timeline only)
During Entanglements, after Ethan‘s suicide attempt, he can no longer adequately perform tactical duties. As he recovers, he becomes capable of working with the Quartermaster, Sekar Khan, and also performing some minor babysitter duties. This only happens during The Three of Us and not during Everybody Knows this is Nowhere.
José Torres (alternate timeline only)
As Ethan recovers, José becomes his roommate, and takes on babysitting duties as a means of trying to attract female attention. As with Ethan Shapiro’s connection to childcare, this only happens during The Three of Us and not during Everybody Knows this is Nowhere.
Childcare is of course still needed in the future, and I’m pleased and proud that it’s a profession tackled by any gender.
The Daranaean Trinning started off as a teenaged boy, one of Mistra‘s children. In later stories, I realized I needed a doctor character, so he was elected. He also ended up sympathetic, a family man with a loving home life for all three of his wives.
Daranaeans aren’t really ‘played’ by anyone. I see Trinning as looking a bit like a Doberman with uncropped ears. As an adult, I picture him as resembling the Egyptian god of the dead, Anubis.
He could be a rather handsome Daranaean.
Kind, intelligent, and loving, Trinning sees curing Thylacine Paramyxovirus as being his life’s work. But he comes home to a rousing, loving family life, where he does his best to treat his three wives as equally as possible. Even his third caste wife is treated with dignity and respect.
Trinning’s Prime Wife is a high class Daranaean woman, and is a daughter of Acreon, their war hero. Sharp-eyed readers will remember her from Some Assembly Required, and her father from Take Back the Night. In Some Assembly, Kathalia shows a particularly enlightened attitude by referring to her half-sister Morza (who is a secondary female) as her sister and dropping the half- prefix.
In Some Assembly Required, this secondary confesses to her friends that she thinks Trinning smells the best of any boy. In Flight of the Bluebird, he refers to her as his first love.
This third caste female is only seen in Flight. She is niece to lab ‘volunteer’ Fyra and mother to Erda, who is a toddler.
There are no impediments to Trinning existing in the Mirror Universe.
Because the Y Chromosome Skew is only confined to human (Terran) males, the Daranaeans would not necessarily have a population skewing heavily male (in the prime universe, their population skews heavily female, hence their caste system).
Therefore, it’s possible that he would have only one wife on the other side of the pond. Without a caste system (I have never written MU Daranaeans, but the idea is of some interest to me), he might just marry his first love, Jamae.
“The table has four legs, and none of them are any longer than the others. If they were, the table would fall. You are one of my loves, regardless of your caste.”
When the first Daranaean stories were written, it seemed as if the men would invariably be the bad guys. Trinning, instead, is a hero.
A focus (unlike a spotlight) is an in-depth look at a Star Trek fanfiction canon item and my twist(s) on it.
Of course, all of fan fiction is like that, but the idea here is to provide a window into how a single canon concept can be used in fan fiction.
A lot of what happens in the Terran Empire absolutely defies logic (Vulcan pun only partly intended). Even in a multiverse with seemingly infinite (or thereabouts) universes with infinite variables, it makes no sense that our heroes’ counterparts would all be serving together.
Okay, so it’s really just a vehicle for tossing a bunch of evil twins onto the screen. Let’s run with that.
In order to make it all work, I decided on a few helper characteristics which would explain things better. Of course the real reason why there are a lot of men in the Mirror Universe is because of who was hired, particularly during the TOS era. For a show and a premise that were touting sex and violence, men would have to be hired in order to up the violence ante. For my fanfiction, I explain this away with the Y Chromosome Skew.
But what about the Terran Empire? First off, the TOS era would have undoubtedly showed a white man in power. Certainly, in canon, the person in charge is a man. But then ENT comes around, and Hoshi Sato declares herself Empress. To my mind, she would have a need for a successor and she could succeed as Empress if she operated under Machiavellian principles.
Hall of Mirrors and the Succession
A review of the Mirror Universe stories I have written creates a semblance of a decent history of the place. The first story is The High Cost of Dissidence, where Lili‘s counterpart’s family dies. Under Emperor Phillip (tyrant Phillip Green in our universe), Charlotte’s father is arrested as a dissident for daring to speak his mind.
During TOS, the Captain’s Woman, Janice Rand, is killed by Marlena Moreau in That’s Not My Name. The crime is investigated as Rand was allegedly the Emperor’s niece, in It Had to be You.
And finally, in Mirror Masquerade, Travis and Hikaru Sulu are switched, and it’s up to the Temporal Integrity Commission to put everyone back where they belong.
With my fanfiction, Hoshi’s life reads a lot like Caligula’s or Nero’s, and that was by design. In bits and pieces, it ended up being a somewhat epic saga. It could use more development in later years. In the Barnstorming series, I add a Mirror connection, but the Empire is supposed to be gone by then. But I like it and will find a way to bring it back.
For Flight of the Bluebird, I wanted there to be Daranaean elections. Much like the United Nations does today, the USS Bluebird and its captain, Malcolm Reed, would be brought in, in order to observe and prevent violence at polling places. Vidam was already going to be the liberal candidate. He needed an opponent, so I created the conservative standard-bearer, Boestus (pronounced beast-us).
Like most Daranaeans, Boestus isn’t really ‘played’ by anyone. He is an older fellow so I see him as being gray. This image of an Irish wolfhound works well.
Traditional and somewhat unyielding, Boestus feels that the traditional Daranaean life and home are important. He wants them to continue. But he is directly confronted by its inherent injustices. Unlike a lot of present-day real life politicians, he is capable of seeing the error of his ways, and learns how to change.
Like all Prime Wives, Nitha was very expensive. But she is concerned when the end is coming for Shura. Unlike what happens in other traditionalist Daranaean households, she may be higher up in the food chain than Carya and Shura are, but she isn’t cruel to them.
The secondary wife of Boestus is also somewhat defiant and is protective of Shura, who cannot defend herself.
In a traditional Daranaean household, a third caste female is called ‘last caste’ and is euthanized at menopause and seen as being useless. But Shura stands up for herself, an act that helps Boestus to see the error of his ways and change his mind.
As with many other characters, there are no impediments to Boestus existing in the Mirror Universe.
The MU is a tougher place, but the Y Chromosome Skew only affects human (Terran) males and not Daranaeans.
With a more balanced society, at least in terms of the gender of children being born, Boestus might end up with just one wife. For a conservative looking to better himself and social climb, he would likely only end up with Nitha.
“I am supposed to protect you. Acreon is taking on these humans’ ways far too much. You have seen what their women do, and how they act and how they dress. It is; it is not right.”
I really loved working with this character, understanding him as a person and making him a rival but not a bad guy. Boestus is the very essence of people who can disagree without being disagreeable, who can admit when they are wrong, and who can change. I would like to write him again some time.
As I wrote The Cure is Worse Than the Disease, the idea of a tripartite Daranaean society (four parts if you really want to get technical, and include the men) began to shape up. As a result, I needed to have a representative from what Captain Erika Hernandez ends up referring to as the ‘bargain basement caste’. And so Cama was created.
Like nearly all Daranaean characters, Cama isn’t really ‘played’ by anyone.
I tend to use images of dogs, so the idea here is that she would resemble an Irish Setter quite a bit. Despite her low status, she could potentially be rather beautiful in appearance.
Forced into a subservient role, Cama chafes under male control, and would prefer to be the architect of her own destiny. Hence she ‘proves’ her breeder value by selectively aborting any daughters she may be carrying. It’s not just for the selfish reason of wanting to be treated better; it’s also because she doesn’t wish her existence on anyone. But she’s also an old school third caste Daranaean female. Hence, she is illiterate.
When she turns menopausal, she is shipped to a research facility that is investigating a cure of Thylacine Paramixovirus. Fortunately, that facility is run by Drs. Trinning and Rechal, who care about their test subjects. In Flight of the Bluebird, Cama gets to show just how heroic she really can be, even in her own quiet way.
Just like Libba and Thessa, Cama can only have a relationship with the male she is sold to. That is Elemus. While he isn’t exactly kind, he is not actively evil, either, certainly not like the murderous Arnis.
In the Mirror Universe, life is rougher for every kind of female, and that includes humans and, of course, Daranaeans.
But women are also, often, sexier. Maybe she uses her body to get ahead, or at least to survive.
“See, all you do is you take off a little sprig. And you stick it in your mouth and get saliva on it. It has turned grey, see? That means I am carrying another boy child, just like my pouchling.”
I was so glad to not just leave it with her, and find a way to show Cama again, and make it obvious that she had survived her childbearing years. Plus maybe, at least a little bit, Elemus did care for her after all.
Education is the cornerstone of our lives. It was a sweet little piece to write. I enjoyed giving a little unexpected learning to someone who might not have necessarily gotten much if her life had gone the usual way. But life did not turn out that way, and so things were improved.
For a prompt of the same name, I decided to revisit the Daranaeans. More specifically, I wanted to go back to Inta and to write a direct sequel to Confidence. In that story, she starts at Oxford. But what happens next? Surely something is going to happen to our favorite sentient marsupial canid artist.
On September 10, 2182, Inta’s Oxford education offers many new experiences.
With that as my idea, I decided to provide Inta with quite the memorable experience – she would have to sketch a nude man. For a girl who has led a rather sheltered life, and is required by her society to remain impeccably virginal until marriage (when she is bought and sold), the circumstances would be strange, exciting, educational, and maybe a little frightening.
I made sure to give her a far more eager classmate, too, who would speak up for Inta’s cultural sensitivities, but would also be a lot more interested in sketching ‘it’.
Then, as I followed up with Temptation in particular, Inta showed so much spunky personality that I now cannot imagine the story going any other way. Not have Inta survive? Unthinkable!
What also helped to bring it all together was that this Inta is named for Arnis’s victim. The original Inta was a third caste wife, but Inta II is Mistra’s and, by definition, belongs to the second caste.
Like all other Daranaeans (except for Crita’s parents), I don’t really have anyone to ‘play’ Inta II. Images of flying foxes mainly stand in for an actress. For one thing, she’d need to be fitted with pretty large prosthetic ears.
Smart and creative, Inta is a survivor and is a reminder of just what Arnis almost got away with. Her mother reports on occasion that she is a bit naughty, whereas we would see that as the stirrings of independence. Some of that is fostered by Lili, Captain Reed‘s wife, sending books to the Daranaean girls that included not only Jane Eyre, but also the Lysistrata.
Inta is the one (unlike Seppa, who is more of a timid sort, as is befitting her third caste status) who sees that life for a female Daranaean can mean more than marriage and endless children. In a lot of ways, she’s a precursor character to Crita, but not an ancestor (Crita, from the Barnstorming series, is in the third caste).
I have no known relationships for Inta, although she might have a small crush on Declan or even nude model Jake. I’m not sure, and sometimes I toy with the idea of making her a lesbian. A gay Daranaean would have to be deeply embedded within the closet. It’s a thought.
There are no impediments to Inta existing in the Mirror Universe.
She would have to be considerably tougher. But as an artist, she has a chance to be an elite member of society.
“Oh, yes. I presume you are referring to Captain Reed. He and his wife have been most generous to me. I have, ever since I learned that their son, Declan, was to study art here, I wished to do so as well.”
Every time I write about Inta, I learn something new about her. I’ll have to write some more!