Inspiration comes from all sorts of places. Because my first exposure to Star Trek was watching the original series in its first run, naturally some inspiration comes from the big flashing box in the living room.
Star Trek itself is, of course, an inspiration, and there are a lot of cross-references among the various series, plus the films. I’ll explore that in another blog entry.
QL shows up in all sorts of places. Richard Daniels’s boss is the feminine version of Al – Admiral Carmen Calavicci. The premise of the Times of the HG Wells series is to put back what a faction has meddled with – in short, it’s the reverse of Quantum Leap. Reversal‘s reference to the Defiant‘s database as being so full of holes that it’s like Swiss cheese is a direct reference. Richard’s original girlfriend, Tina, is another reference, as is him being called “Future Man”, a play on the “Future Boy” episode. Even a calla lily worn in a groom’s lapel is a shout-out to the series.
Culp played Major J. Hayes on Enterprise and so a lot of references swirl around him and various television roles he’s played. References to Desperate Housewives come from E2 characters Bree Tanner and Rex Ryan and Reversal characters Jennifer Crossman and Brian Delacroix are references to Marcia Cross,
Malcolm is a major character in the In Between Days series. Therefore, there are a lot of references around him as well. In Intolerance, the character names Blair, Claymore, Nguyen, Owen and Will all refer to something to do with Keating.
The surname Sloane is a quick shout-out to Cheers – that was Diane Chambers’s boyfriend in the pilot. Chip Masterson‘s real first name, Chandler, is a reference to Friends. So is the throwaway reference to one of Melissa Madden’s sisters – Monica. Her sister Meghan is a reference to The Thorn Birds.
There are more references, and undoubtedly there will be more to come. Can you spot them all?
My vision for Andy was of a somewhat tall, dark-haired Jewish guy, and so I hit upon the idea of Adrien Brody. I also liked the idea of Brody, given the very ethnic nose he’s got. So Andrew, even though he’s half and half, shows his Jewish roots rather plainly in his looks. I also liked the idea of him having something of a hangdog, mournful look to him. Andy, while a generally fun guy and a good friend, is perhaps a bit saddened in his life.
While his actions in the The Light and Waiting show him as being the romantic partner of Karin Bernstein, things turn out somewhat differently for Andy. In Take Back the Night, he is shown with Lucy Stone, the new Science Officer after T’Pol‘s departure, and in Fortune, he is still shown with her – and she is more of a true match for him. In the E2 stories I am writing as of the posting of this blog entry, Lucy is not on the ship, so he instead ends up with Shelby Pike.
Andrew’s life in the mirror is far tougher. In Temper, in both the primary timeline and in one of the alternates, he is shown as ending up with the Empress Hoshi Sato, and not necessarily fully willfully. In Fortune, Escape and The Point is Probably Moot, the consequences of a different romantic choice are shown, where he fathered Melissa Madden‘s son. Andy’s life does not end well in the mirror, but at least it’s on his own terms.
As a mid-level Science Crewman, who eventually becomes an Ensign, Andrew works in the Biology Lab, a position somewhat similar to canon character Ethan Novakovich. In the E2 stories, because there is a need for an additional doctor, Andy trains to be a medic, and his duties include delivering babies.
Well-liked and upstanding, but a bit bratty at times, Andrew rises to the occasion when he must and, overall, does the right thing, in both universes.
I continued spinning out Reversal on Star Trek Logs.
I added Broken Seal to Trek United, as I hadn’t put anything out there in a while. I updated There’s Something About Hoshi and posted it to Star Trek Logs. I also started spinning out Together on Trek BBS and Ohio on Ad Astra. I also created The Facts on Ad Astra and The Rite on Star Trek Logs as a response to its first-ever prompt (I am running the prompts there, at least for now). Both of the latter two were ficlets brought about in order to flesh out some of the scenes in Fortune.
The E2 stories continue to be written. I continue to find points to stress or loose ends to tie up and some of those will end up in the fourth book, rather than the third one in that series. I think this will make it a better and more balanced series overall.
I also worked a lot on a Daranaean story called Flight of the Bluebird. I didn’t have as coherent a plan for it as I would have liked, but Kirok of L’Stok was interested in putting the Daranaean stories onto Issuu. Hence I had to get cracking, so the E2 stories were set aside in favor of finishing up Bluebird.
At this point, I also have my response to the Ad Astra prompt about sacrifices. The title is Equinox. It covers several scenes left out of Fortune.
I spent a lot of time making the website a lot more coherent and getting more of the In Between Days stories into correct chronological order.
This Month’s Productivity Killers
Looking for work continues to cramp my writing style, which I suppose is amusing but is also a tad serious – it can be difficult to get inspired if you’re worried about continuing income.
Ad Astra’s forums were also down for a bit – that’s generally better for productivity for me, but I do miss the interactions, not to mention the prompts.
Aliens have to eat, and they don’t just eat meat, at least, not my aliens.
The Calafans needed something to chow down on. But what?
History and Use in Plots
I first put olowa – and it didn’t have a name yet – into a dining table scene of Calafans, in Reversal. The idea was not to showcase the food (it was just referred to as a large purple vegetable) but, rather, to showcase that the Calafans were familiar with knives and forks. This is to counter an earlier scene, where Treve and Chawev are asked to dinner on the NX-01. In an earlier scene, Treve expresses an unfamiliarity with forks, so Lili shows him how to use one. Yet in the later scene, his younger sister, Yimar, is shown using a knife and fork to cut up the aforementioned vegetable for her younger brother, Chelben.
It isn’t until Together that olowa is actually tasted by humans and referred to by name. Olowa (pronounced: OH-luh-wah or OH-luh-wuh) grows in the Lafa System. Lili describes it as follows –
“That is an olowa. Or, rather, it’s bits of a bunch of them. It’s a vegetable that grows on Lafa IV. Now, the interesting thing about olowa is, as it matures, it petrifies and turns to stone. It also lightens from deep purple to, eventually, kind of an ash grey. You can’t eat it then; you’ll break a tooth. So what you’ve got here is a salad made from olowa at different stages of maturity. If anything feels too hard, all I can say is, don’t eat it. I won’t be offended.”
The olowa goes through various flavors as it changes in color, from a sweet pear-like flavor, to a spicy flavor, then eventually to a fatty texture and flavor somewhat like peanuts.
In Temper, it’s revealed that perrazin will eat olowa and, while hunting, Melissa climbs an olowa tree in order to escape a herd of charging perrazin. To distract them from going after Doug, she plucks an olowa and throws it as far away from him as possible, and a few of the animals run that way.
In another scene, a very young child, beginning to be introduced to solid foods, gets a little sweet immature olowa mixed in with other soft foods.
In Fortune, olowa are mentioned in a lot of off-handed ways. Olowa paste is sent aboard Malcolm‘s ship as a treat, to be used by the Chef in pies. Declan also paints and draws olowa as a part of still life studies for his art classes. At Lili and Doug’s home, there is a spreading olowa tree, and it’s comfortable to sit under there and nap during a warm afternoon.
Olowa even crossed over to my first story taking place in the JJ Abrams universe. In Release, Eriecho and Saddik are tempted by the Commandant with pieces of olowa, but Saddik notices that it’s been artificially ripened. Still, it’s better than what they’ve been given for years, so he practically swallows his portion whole. Their olowa is going spicy in flavor.
Someday, when we have made friends with other species, we’ll find ourselves eating their local foods. Plants will probably be a lot easier for us to take than meats. A vegetable like olowa would be particularly pleasant – so long as it wasn’t petrified.
Brian was born as a foil for Doug, but also to be a friend to Lili.
For most wars, there are often underaged volunteers who somehow sneak in and break the rules. This was the kind of person who I wanted Brian to be. And then, I found, I wanted him to be a bit more than that.
Personality and Personal History
Brian doesn’t have too much of a history as I’ve written him. He doesn’t have a planet or country of origin or anything like that. He’s just an underage Security crewman.
Because he’s young and short and babyfaced, he’s got a lot to prove, particularly as a member of Security, so he can be somewhat Napoleonic in his behaviors.
When he gets a chance, in Reversal, to do something else, he rises to the occasion and shows that he has some talent. This eventually becomes his new profession, and he leaves Security. In Together, he helps Yimar and gets a sweet reward for his efforts. In Fortune, the culmination of his education is shown, and we see his granddaughter, Susan, who we learn is attending a High School for the Gifted.
I hit upon the idea of David Faustino as he’s a short guy who has been acting since a rather early age. He also is relatively muscular, which would be a requirement for someone so small to be even considered for Security work.
Within Brian, there is a bit of a loose cannon underneath. You should be just a little bit worried that something might happen if this guy snaps. He goes down a different path, and it ends up being the best thing for him, but the reader should consider that things could have worked out far differently for him.
Things go differently – that is to say, horribly wrong – for Brian’s counterpart. In the Mirror, of course, you only move up when you assassinate your superior officer(s). In Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses, he is seen guarding the Emperor and then, after the Emperor is assassinated, about to lose his virginity to Empress Hoshi.
However, by the time we get to Reversal, Brian has become little more than a mindless drone of a soldier. His gambit to move up goes horribly wrong.
“Well, whose morality applies to us? I mean, aren’t there species that still have child brides? Do we go by their rules, or ours?”
For every underaged soldier, a hope for a better future or a highly developed sense of patriotism can cause them to leave home early, lie to their Recruitment Office and hurl themselves at enemy fire. Brian is one such soldier but, at least on our side of the pond, he makes it through to the other side and gets more out of life than just learning how to wield a weapon.
I have been working in the corporate world, in some capacity or another since 1986. Frankly, it was even before that, as I would temp as a college and Law School student in order to make some summer spending money.
One of the things I have perfected over the years is what’s called an Elevator Pitch. The gist of an elevator pitch is that you have the time of an elevator ride (e. g. thirty seconds to two minutes, tops) to make your pitch to a prospect employer who you, presumably, meet serendipitously in an elevator.
This means that you need to strip your resumé and work history down to bare bones. A doctor, for example, can’t go into the details of some operation she performed last year. Instead, she says something like, “I’m an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine. The Boston Celtics call on me when their medical staff is stumped.” In a very short amount of time, you get a very good idea of what this woman can do, and how trusted she is in the medical establishment.
For Star Trek fanfiction writing, I think there is a need for what is essentially the equivalent of an elevator pitch. That is, it should be a short piece which accurately gives the reader a taste of your universe, your ideas and what you can do. The Light is one such story.
History of the Story
This Star Trek:Enterprise fanfiction story did not set out to be that way. Instead, I was in the middle of spinning out Reversal (pretty close to the end) when in late 2010 I was asked to provide a story for a project called the Trek Twelve Days of Christmas. The only catch was that the story had to be fairly short – that is, it could not be a full-fledged book like Reversal.
I hit upon an idea. There would be some characters from Reversal, but really only minor ones, and the story would revolve around them. It ended up being just one of the minor characters from that story. And, the kicker, because you can find scads of Star Trek holiday stories about Christmas, this one would, instead, be about Chanukah.
I am, as they say, a nice Jewish gal. And people like William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, but also Armin Shimerman, are connected to Star Trek and are Jewish. Plus there are things like the Vulcan salute, and various space episodes centering around World War II, such as TOS’s Patterns of Force. Judaism is a part of Star Trek. But how to add it in, particularly without being overly preachy?
I hit upon the idea of Jews who are somewhat religious but not so much that they cannot function on a starship. That is, they had to, for example, be able to travel on the Sabbath. This meant that Orthodox Jews were out of the question. But Conservative Jews (which is how I was brought up; this references a sect and not a political affiliation) would work just fine for my purposes.
Chanukah was a natural introduction as a lot of people are familiar with it. The celebration, a festival of lights, also includes foods made with oil, such as potato latkes (pancakes), spinning a top called a dreidel and exchanging presents. The candelabra is called a menorah.
In order to add a little emotional heft to the story, and to explain why Captain Archer and the senior staff would be interested in the Jewish contingent on the ship, the story begins with a death. This link to the past also links us, the people of the present day, to the people on the NX-01.
The story begins with an Admiral telling Captain Archer than Crewman Ethan Shapiro‘s great-aunt, Rachel Orenstein, has died. Jonathan wonders why the crewman’s family wouldn’t just tell him and is informed – they won’t communicate during the Sabbath. Jonathan presses the matter, still not convinced that he’s the best man for the job when he is told that he must act quickly, as this is a major news story. Why? Because Rachel lived for one hundred and twenty-seven years (which places her birth in 2029). She broke all previous records and, therefore, the press is interested in her family.
As Jonathan informs Ethan of the death, Ethan asks for leave for the unveiling of the head stone, explaining that the funeral will be too quick for him to ever get back to Earth in time. He also asks to be connected to the Starfleet Rabbi, Leah Benson.
He returns to his quarters and waits for his friends. Lieutenant Reed comes by briefly, in order to offer his condolences as he is Ethan’s boss. The other three Jewish crew members arrive – Josh Rosen, who is in Engineering; Karin Bernstein, who works with Ethan in the Tactical Department; and Andrew Miller, who works in the Biology Lab and is half-Jewish. Andy is perhaps a year older than the others.
When they speak with the Rabbi, they ask how they are ever going to get a minyan together. In order to say Kaddish (the prayer over the dead), ten Jews must be present. Karin’s presence counts (that wasn’t the case when I was a child), but then what? There are only four Jews on the ship. The Rabbi tells them that they can temporarily deputize some non-Jewish friends.
When the time comes for mourning, Captain Archer brings along some friends to help. These include Hoshi who, when asked if she can read Hebrew jokes, “I’ll muddle through”, Malcolm, Phlox, T’Pol and a Security Crewman, Azar Hamidi. Azar notes that Hebrew can’t be too far off from Arabic. The prayers are said.
Ethan’s mother – who tells him to talk to that nice girl Karin a bit – has insisted that he celebrate Chanukah, so he invites all of the attendees at the service to a little party, to be held on the next night. The party is held in the Observation Lounge. Like all good parties, there’s a little dancing, a gift is given, good food is eaten and there’s a little bit of romance.
For the most part, I like how it turned out. There is a bit of shtick, though, particularly when Ethan and his mother talk. I could have probably trimmed that a bit, as Linda Shapiro comes across as a bit of a stereotype. But I do like using this story – which only contains a little over 3200 words – as one possible elevator pitch when people ask me how they can get an inkling of how I write. For a positive, K-rated peek at my world, read The Light.
I listened to the song, over and over again, and Doctor Pamela Hudson was born.
Personality and Personal History
Controlling but out of control, with a healer’s profession but a selfish streak, Pamela was meant to be a femme fatale from the very beginning. In Intolerance, she is first introduced when Travis has figured out that there are female medical students coming to the NX-01 for an Immunology rotation. The assumption is that the women are single, and so he and Tripp Tucker and Malcolm Reed decide to compete for the women. When Pamela walks by, she’s wearing a not-too-revealing outfit, but her lips and nails are painted dark purple, and her hair is back and threatening to tumble down. So she puts her left hand up, and they see that she’s got a leather bracelet on and no rings on that hand. Wordlessly, she has communicated to them – I’m available.
She’s also communicated to them – I might be more than you bargained for.
Pamela is a child of privilege, and brilliant to boot (she went to Harvard Medical School), but her family carries a dark secret – ever since she was five years old, her father sexually abused her, while her mother watched. Her sister, Lisa, was unaffected.
She’s also (in conversations with fellow student Blair Claymore) established as being quite sexually liberated, to the point of worrying Blair. Blair, in contrast, is shown as the good girl. Both are attractive, but it’s Pamela who really turns heads.
In Together, her feelings are hurt when she is rejected – a rather unfamiliar scenario for her. In Temper, her Mirror counterpart is seen. In Fortune, she finds a soulmate in an unexpected place. And in Remembrance, her grand-nephew presents her eulogy.
The Mirror Pamela has things even tougher than the one in the Prime Universe. In Temper, she is little more than one of José Torres‘s playthings (as are Blair and Karin Bernstein) in one of the alternate timelines. In Fortune and in He Stays a Stranger, she’s shown as a pinup girl. It’s unclear, at least in Temper, whether she’s a lab assistant or a doctor, and in the other Mirror Universe stories, she may be little more than a prostitute, if that.
I struggled a bit with figuring out who should “play” Pamela. I wanted someone who would be beautiful and sexy and smart, but also could evoke a certain amount of world-weary ennui. To my mind, Kaley Cuoco fit the bill rather well. Not only does she have serious geek cred, she also has some drama cred. I also felt she would be the kind of woman who Tripp would joke about as, “Please, you’re talking about the future Mrs. Tucker.”
“Never arrive to a party early or on time. No one should. It’s like the old Steady State theory of the universe. No beginning and no end. Or maybe it’s just turtles all the way down.”
For a character who was originally supposed to be a one-off, Pamela graduated to In Between Days main character status. However, as something of an outsider, she doesn’t fit the profile of the other In Between Days main characters like Lili O’Day or Doug Beckett.
Pure id, but with a heart underneath all that leather and langor, Pamela is, ultimately, a femme fatale motivated by good.
When I wrote Reversal, one of the things I wanted was for Empress Hoshi to have a child. This was a somewhat quick decision but, the more I thought about it, the more I loved the idea for Star Trek: Enterprise fanfiction. The intention was, essentially, that Empress Hoshi, like Livia from Suetonius, would be a viper of a mother, breeding as much as possible (and with as many different men as possible) so as to assure the succession. For Hoshi, it’s also a matter of personal survival.
Hoshi knows that the way that anyone moves up in the Mirror Universe is via assassination. She’s got an enormous target painted on her back. So she needs protection.
At the same time, she’s one hot little number. And, in my fanfiction, about three-quarters of all of the children born in the MU are male, which is reflected in things like starship crew manifests. Hence it’s a combination of lots of men plus a sexy young Empress looking for protection. So she hits on a plan.
The plan is to have as many kids as possible, but all by different fathers – the members of her senior staff. She knows that there’s been a genetic mutation which not only skews the number of offspring in favor of males, it also skews male behavior in favor of good fatherhood. Therefore, in order to assure the survival of their offspring, these men won’t go after Hoshi (at least not while the kids are small). And then, when the kids are bigger, it’s a lot harder to just kill them off.
But this all comes later. Before the plan is the seduction.
In First Born, we see the aftermath of the first birth. Whether Daniels seduces Hoshi, or it’s the other way around, is tough to say (as of this posting, I haven’t written it yet). In that story, I establish Daniels as already being a womanizer. As for Hoshi, her round heels are canon. So who goes after whom?
Does it really matter?
The product of that first seduction is Jun (pronounced JOON). The problem is, much like John Connor in The Terminator, he’s temporally paradoxical. Because Daniels works for the Temporal Integrity Commission, a lot of fancy footwork must be performed in order for Jun to be able to live. The first requirement is that he not be able to father a child.
Another piece of allowing Jun to live is the condition that Daniels never see his son. By the time of Reversal, Daniels’s death has been faked, and Hoshi is looking for a spare heir – a little brother for Jun. She ends up having a total of five more children. All but one of these are male.
Personality and Personal History
Jun is, like most Mirror persons, a ruthless killer. In First Born, before all of the changes wrought by the Temporal Integrity Commission, it’s revealed that he kills off all of his male siblings in order to consolidate his power. This ends up being another detail that has to be changed in order to assure his survival.
Furthermore, Jun has a bratty and violent streak that all of his half-siblings have. In Coveted Commodity, he’s seen throwing a little knife against a wall – a gift from the Empress that’s referenced in both First Born and Reversal. In Reversal, he won’t come when he’s called and instead is put through conditioning training at an extremely young age.
In Temper (this is an alternate future of 2178), he plays third base on the Empress’s baseball team and battles his next in line brother, Kira, in a sword fight. This fight is over a girl because, in this alternate timeline, Empress Hoshi has skewed the male to female ratio even more. In part this is to oppress women, in part it’s to assure her own survival, and in part it’s to shore up her fading looks.
The only person who Jun can, truly, call his “father” is Aidan MacKenzie, the babysitter (Kira’s father), who is not a biological relation at all.
Prime Universe Analogue
While Jun does not have a Prime Universe counterpart, he does have an analogue, in the sense that there is a character who is not a mirror image but is, rather, a similar personality. That person is Joss Beckett, as both of them are the first born children of their respective parents and both have a heightened sense of duty. The pressure is on both of them to take care of things, although Jun is considerably more likely to ignore that duty than Joss is.
“Someone’s got to be the court jester.”
When I think of Jun, I think of a part-Asian, part-Caucasian man with a bit of a nasty streak. I hit upon the idea of Survivor winner Yul Kwon.
Kwon works, partly because of his overall look as a bit of a toughened guy, but also the beard evokes the classic Mirror Universe image.
I’m also thrilled with the fact that he is Korean (as is the actress playing Hoshi, Linda Park, even though that character is actually Japanese) and is an intelligent guy, a graduate of Stanford University and Yale Law School, even.
Jun’s theme is from an alternate timeline. It’s Edwyn Collins‘s A Girl Like You. I wanted to not only evoke a part of the plot of Temper, but I also feel that the distortion in the song evokes the distortion in the Mirror Universe.
Because Hoshi is a former linguist, all of her children’s names are meaningful. Jun means truthful – an absurdity, considering all of the lies that need to be told in order to ensure his survival.
Angry, evil genius Jun only exists because of a choice that isn’t really much of a choice, and a mistake and a bunch of Temporal Integrity Commission thumbs on the scale of history. But he makes the most of his life, passing on his ideas and his passions if not his genes. In every scenario, he and Kira succeed Hoshi and rule the Terran Empire. Not bad for a guy who wasn’t supposed to exist in the first place.
I began the month by answering a prompt on Ad Astra about seasons. I had thought a bit about all four seasons but I was stuck a little on spring and autumn. But I liked winter, so I posted A Hazy Shade, which is a reference to the old Simon and Garfunkel song, A Hazy Shade of Winter. That one will go in context at some point. I also added a story about the summer, called And the Livin’ is Easy. That, too, will get some context.
I also started to post A Long, Long Time Ago on Ad Astra. This is really the start of the Times of the HG Wells series, although I had also written a prequel, First Born, which was posted on Ad Astra, Trek BBS and Trek United. On the former two forae, it was entered into their monthly challenges. It did not win either challenge, but did receive some votes.
Furthermore, I finished Reversalon Trek BBS and also spooled outIntolerance. Reversal and Intolerance have both gotten some very nice comments there, and a lot of views.
The same has happened on Fanfiction.net, e. g. I’ve finished Reversal and am beginning Intolerance there. As on Trek BBS, these are the T-rated versions of the stories.
I also created responses to monthly challenges and posted them. These stories are A Kind of Blue (for Ad Astra’s Bring the Sunshine challenge) and The Black Widow (for the Trek BBS What if …? challenge). As is perhaps obvious, the two works took me in rather dissimilar directions.
The E2 stories continue to be drafted. I am in the midst of the third book, and there should be four. It’s threatening to become about the same size as the Wells series. I have had a lot to say, and the characters have taken me in a lot of unexpected directions, for which I am grateful. I am now beginning to circle back to some of the initial points that I had wanted to cover, and those chapters are rather long, and take a lot of time to be drafted.
Prep work consisted of creating a bowdlerized version of Together and an HTML-coded version of Ohio.
This Month’s Productivity Killers
Looking for work continues to be both a boon to my writing (no real work distractions) and a hindrance (being home all day, I hear every little noise, plus of course I have to look for a job).
I also switched to Internet Explorer 9. While that fixed problems I was having with Flash and Java, it created other problems, and now I can no longer post in the Ad Astra archive, or put reviews there, or respond to reviews. Hence I use Chrome whenever I go to the Ad Astra archive. This eats up time.
Furthermore, my parents visited for a few days, in order to watch my husband and me run the first 5K of the season. Fun but of course, there isn’t a lot of computer time when we’ve got company.
Joining a different forum meant more time spent posting stories (and posting so as to get to know the other people on that board) rather than creating. Plus I overhauled my website a bit in order to better handle links to sites where my work is posted. However, I believe that the changes I’ve made in the website have made it easier to work on when I join more forums. One thing I have to remember is that not every story needs to be posted everywhere.
Oh, it’s so difficult to be a teenager, even one as popular and lovely as Tr’Dorna.
There’s the grooming – for after all, you’ve got to have nice teeth and beautiful eyes! There’s showing just enough to your boyfriend without revealing your tail too quickly. There’s being sympathetic to your roommate, who might not get a date even to the Sadie Hawkins Dance. There’s being kind to your boyfriend’s roommate, who is fraught with insecurities. And this doesn’t even take schoolwork into account.
And then, of course, there’s the matter of keeping your scales looking good.
There are no female Xindi Reptilians shown in canon. And there are no young Reptilians shown, either, unless you count the occasional nameless aide who has no lines.
What are their teenaged kids like? What about young girls?
I figured they would be a bit like our own teenaged girls. Sometimes impulsive. Sometimes a little wicked. Sometimes very kind. Flighty, maybe. Overly concerned with appearance, possibly. In short, much like us.
Tr’Dorna is originally introduced in The Reptile Speaks, as being Skrol the Gorn‘s girlfriend. Since there are no female teenaged Gorn at Picard High School, Skrol goes after Tr’Dorna, and urges his roommate, Bron (he is also a Gorn), to hook up with Tr’Dorna’s roommate, Etrina, another female Xindi Reptilian.
Tr’Dorna is portrayed in that story as a little bawdy, teasing and flirting and weighing her options as to whether she will show Skrol her tail, which is a prelude to serious foreplay and possibly sex. She also encourages Etrina to find someone for the dance, particularly when it looks like it isn’t going to work out between Etrina and Bron, and even pumps up Etrina by referring to her friend as the “picture of health”.
When Skrol talks about getting her a tiger lily wrist corsage, he mentions that it will bring out her eyes. In canon, Reptilian eyes are yellow, so hers would be a more orangey-yellow in color.
In Insecurity, it is she who Skrol turns to in order to comfort a lonely and lovesick Bron. Here she is sympathetic and kind, telling Bron that his girl is probably missing him as much as he is missing her. Bron refers to her as “a really sweet and smart lady”.
It’s tough to envision alien characters as being “played” by humans, particularly when so much makeup and such an enormous amount of prosthetics would clearly be needed. But I see Hayden Panettiere as Tr’Dorna, just kind of a fun-loving young girl with a mischievous smile.
“All I’m saying, Bron, is that you can only go on the facts you’ve got, and what’s, well, what’s logical, whether we’re talking about how Sophra is spending break, or how Etrina is. Don’t look at me like I’m a scaly Vulcan or anything! Just, you’re jumping to conclusions and assuming a lot of things. Have a little faith, okay? We girls usually aren’t so different from you guys. We’re not out to actively try to hurt you. I think that’s even true of a warmie like Sophra.”
Tr’Dorna may be a little boy-crazy, and she doesn’t exactly make schoolwork a priority. But she’s a good friend, and has a decent head on her scaly shoulders.