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!
For Reversal in particular to work, there had a to be a number of people ready and able to go to war.
In particular, as the Mirror Universe is so different from the prime universe, a lot of people would be soldiers there who wouldn’t be so here. Or they would be more violent and less disciplined than in our universe. As it is explained to Lili, the percentage of military personnel is deliberately kept very high over there.
There are more MACOs in particular than the group listed here, but these people are seen the most.
This Calafan recruit drills directly under Doug and, in the Mirror, in one of the alternate timelines, assassinates the Empress Hoshi Sato during Temper.
Douglas Jay Hayes Beckett
Doug, a trained killer, spends much of Reversal trying to leave the practice of making war. When he can’t find anything else to do with himself in Together, he eventually becomes the captain of a defense unit on Lafa II, and instructs recruits.
Chang, a canon character, defends the Enterprise but, in the E2 timeline, commits crimes.
Curtis is another E2 timeline criminal. In the Temper alternate timelines, he’s named Craig.
In the prime universe, Delacroix is a security guard who becomes a chef. In the Mirror, he nearly kills Doug.
Unlike the other five kids, Tommy joins Starfleet and goes into Tactical.
In the deep future, Tom is assigned to the Breen homeworld before he joins the Temporal Integrity Commission.
Deb works in Security in both universes. In the Mirror, she kills Brian before he has a chance to off Doug. But her victory is short-lived, and she perishes when he leaves that universe.
The consummate soldier, Major J. Hayes is so committed to defending the ship that he has nearly no time for people.
Yet another E2 criminal, Hodgkins is often paired with Curtis, particularly in the Mirror.
Chip is wasted in Security and is moved over to Communications. This isn’t possible in the Mirror, so he stays in Tactical. In the prime timeline, he escapes the Empress, but in one of the alternates, he rises to become captain of the Defiant.
Travis is a soldier in the Mirror Universe only. He’s a poor soldier, though, and an even worse leader. In the alternate timelines, and in the prime timeline, he is fragged by his own troops.
Like Travis, Andy is only a soldier in the Mirror. When the Empress taps him for somewhat earthy duties, he manages to get himself reassigned to Science.
The other consummate canon career soldier, Malcolm is more ambitious and tries for a command as soon as he can get one.
José is another person who is only a soldier in the Mirror. He is not cut out for command at all and, in an alternate timeline, destroys his ship, the Luna, and everyone on board is killed.
Star Trek fanfiction will always have a place for men and women (and other genders) in uniform.
While writing Take Back the Night, I was struck by an idea that would be strange for Daranaeans – where are the gay sentient marsupial canids? I decided that they would exist. Further, given the female-centric skew to their population numbers, and the male-centric skew to their positions of power, I would think that gay culture would make a great deal of sense. Females would bond as they toiled almost below decks, whereas males would bond almost like the ancient Greek intelligentsia.
Except on Daranaea, no one would ever admit to same-sex attractions and relationships, given the overwhelming pressure to reproduced.
Gay Daranaeans would all be in the closet. Enter Hamilton Roget.
This good-looking actor seems to resemble an older David Bowie more as they both have aged.
I wanted someone good-looking but older, a kind of wise counselor to Erika Hernandez. Even more than most humans, Hamilton would be appalled at how Daranaean society is run.
Aloof but very competent, Hamilton is Erika’s First Officer. He’s got a Tactical background, and somewhat of a counterpart to Malcolm after Tripp‘s death and T’Pol‘s return to Vulcan, and Aidan while Malcolm commands the USS Bluebird. As First Officer, he and Lucy Stone run scientific scanners on Daranaea, so he’s got a bit of a scientific background as well.
Hamilton’s partner is mentioned, but not by name. That is his only known relationship.
There are no impediments to Hamilton existing in the Mirror Universe.
Because he would not be in competition for the few women in that universe, he might be able to form decent relationships with men, even heterosexual men with whom he would have no hope of a romance.
That is, he would have, perhaps, a more cooperative life than most. He could rise in the ranks quickly and, like the MU Mark Stone, could find himself in a decent and even a relatively safe position of some power.
“But what about families where they can’t have children, or maybe they won’t? …
“Not everyone does, or can. My partner and me – if he and I wanted to become parents, we would adopt, or work with a surrogate mother. And we would love our child but, together, we can’t biologically have one. Are we worthless to you?”
Intellect and IDIC are valued in Star Trek. Hamilton fits rather neatly into both areas. I should write him more.